Dec 16, 2020

Travis Perkins to return £50m of UK government help

UK builders' merchant Travis Perkins is to return £50m of government help that it received under the business rates relief and coronavirus job retention schemes. It joins a growing list of companies opting to return government funds after sales remained robust throughout the pandemic. Like Kingfisher, Travis Perkins has been helped by a boom in demand for DIY products as consumers kept housebound during lockdowns decided to spruce up their homes. The DIY and smaller trade markets were still performing well but Travis Perkins said that demand from larger customers - which account for far more of its business than consumers - was recovering more slowly. Analysts at UBS said the decision to return government support would reduce the company's guidance for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by £50m to £210m. "Considering the strong top line, we think the lack of an underlying upgrade is somewhat disappointing," they said in a note to clients.

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