BUILDERS MERCHANT Travis Perkins believes it is in a good position as it enters the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 outbreak on the back of strong performances in its Travis Perkins, Toolstation and Wickes brands.
The company says trading has yet to be affected by the outbreak, with total sales up 2.4% year-to-date, but that it is taking steps to prepare, such as suspending dividends for shareholders and halting plans to de-merge the Wickes brand.
Should the virus impact the company, there are plans which include, according to a statement, “ reducing operating costs where sensible to do so, a robust assessment of all capital expenditure requirements, and careful management of inventory and other working capital.”
Health the priority
Nick Roberts, CEO, commented: “Our highest priority is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders, and we have taken decisive action to mitigate the risks we are facing as a business, and implementing contingency plans across the Group.
“We are absolutely committed to fulfilling the essential role we play in the UK construction industry supply chain in keeping the UK dry, warm, maintained and operational; providing materials, working capital funding and support for our trade customers, large and small.
“Whilst there is unprecedented uncertainty on how the virus outbreak will directly impact our markets and our businesses, we enter this period from a position of strength and security, with a strong balance sheet and access to significant committed liquidity.”