MARKET REPORT: Travis Perkins in a hole as DIY boom fizzles out

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Travis Perkins said it expects to deliver a full-year performance 'broadly in line' with market expectations

Travis Perkins, the builders’ merchant, found itself in a hole after it issued a thinly veiled profit warning.

In its half-year results, the group said it expects to deliver a full-year performance ‘broadly in line’ with market expectations.

The phrase ‘broadly in line’ is City code for ‘not quite as good as expected’ and the shares fell accordingly, sliding 9.3 per cent, or 95.8p, to 934.2p.

Travis Perkins said it expects to deliver a full-year performance ‘broadly in line’ with market expectations

The first half of 2022 saw the group achieve 7.9 per cent revenue growth from a year earlier but management cautioned that the exceptional trading its Toolstation business enjoyed during the height of the pandemic has tapered off.

Homeowners have evidently downed tools and opted to get out of the house rather than spend time putting up shelves or buffing up the bathroom.

Kingfisher, owner of the B&Q chain, fell 3.7 per cent, or 9.6p, to 249.4p, and kitchens supplier Howden Joinery also went off the boil, falling 3.3 per cent, or 22.4p, to 657.4p. 

Housebuilders reacted negatively to the latest Nationwide house price index, as the building society observed ‘tentative signs of a slowdown in activity’ in the housing market in July.

Crest Nicholson Holdings, down 4.9 per cent, or 13.8p, to 266.6p; Bellway, down 7.1 per cent, or 176p, to 2288p and Taylor Wimpey, off 6.2 per cent, or 7.95p, at 120.05p were the hardest hit.

The FTSE 100 dipped 0.06 per cent, or 4.31 points, to 7409.11 and the FTSE 250 dived 1 per cent, or 205.16 points, to 19874.07.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo fell 2.2 per cent, or 15.8p, to 712.4p after its half-year results lacked sparkle. The commodities giant warned the second half of the year is expected to see global supply chain bottlenecks and cost inflation put the squeeze on profits.

Profit in the first half of 2022 fell by almost two-thirds to £127million from £364.7million the year before.

Biffa, which is being circled by private equity, leapt 11.3 per cent, or 40.8p, to 401.6p on the back of strong full-year results. Earnings in the 52 weeks to March 25 rose 41 per cent from a year earlier to £195million.

The waste management company said the second half of its financial year saw continued recovery from the impact of the pandemic, with revenue growth over the whole year of 22 per cent compared to the year before.

The company has reinstated its dividend but it might not be around for much longer to keep paying it as it remains in discussions with private equity firm Energy Capital Partners about a takeover.

Energy Capital, which ran a cash offer of 445p per share up the flagpole in early June, was supposed to have made a firm offer by today or walk away but the ‘put up or shut up’ deadline has been extended to August 30.

Chemicals business Synthomer, formerly known as Yule Catto, tumbled 11.4 per cent, or 27.8p, to 207.2p as it said customers continued to destock its nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) gloves after going a bit gung-ho with the orders at the height of the pandemic.

Profit before tax plunged to £114.7million in the first half of 2022 from £272.4million in the same period of 2021.

Another FTSE 250 chemicals firm, Elementis, was having a happier time of it after it lifted full-year guidance.

‘While mindful of macroeconomic headwinds, the group’s financial performance is expected to be towards the top end of consensus expectations,’ the industrial coatings and personal care formulations specialist said. This came after it posted adjusted profits before tax for the first six months of the year of $53million, up by a third on $40m in the first half of 2021.

Elementis shares surged 6.6 per cent, or 7.2p, to 116.7p.

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