Rise in profits prompts cautious optimism for 2013.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Travis Perkins has predicted a slow improvement in construction markets this year after a rise in pre-tax profits.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said that although the current unpredictability of the market suggested that in the short term conditions would remain difficult, there do seem to be signs of a return to growth during the coming year.

The buildings materials supplier posted pre-tax profits of £313 million, an increase of 16.2 per cent. This is partially the result of a fair value adjustment after the company recently bought Toolstation. At the same time, adjusted operating margin remained stable, edging up very slightly to 6.7 per cent.

Contractors working in the construction and engineering industries will be relieved to hear of green shoots in a sector that has been struggling since the financial crisis. The report goes on to describe the state of the markets since 2008 as a “rollercoaster”, but does suggest that upward moves in the housing market combined with government infrastructure investment are likely to mean that activity picks up towards the second half of the year.

By Victoria McDonnell

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