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Travis Perkins Plc Raises Its Interim Dividend By 25% As CEO Retires

Shares in Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK) ticked down 1% in early morning trading today, as the builders’ merchant reported its half-year results and announced the departure of its long-time CEO Geoff Cooper.

The firm, whose brands include Wickes, Tool Station and Tile Giant, said that the past six months of trading had been tough — owing to challenging market conditions at the start of the year — and guided that prospects for the remainder of the year and 2014 were looking up.

The group reported an adjusted pre-tax profit of £136m (up 4.1% on the half year) and said that revenue growth had also increased by 1.6%.

It was also revealed that adjusted earnings per share had risen by 6% to 43.9p and a 25% increase in the interim dividend (to 10p per share) was also announced.

Commenting on the results, CEO Geoff Cooper said:

“We anticipated a poor first quarter, however this was exacerbated by the early and cold weather and Easter.  Lead indicators for the remainder of this year, and for 2014, are strengthening, with new housing leading the way.

“All four divisions are making progress with an improving trend in all markets and are flexibly managing volume, gross margin and costs so as to optimise returns.”

Travis Perkins also informed investors that Mr Cooper will retire from his position as CEO in March 2014. He will be replaced by John Carter, the group’s current Deputy CEO.

Forecasts before today’s announcement put Travis Perkins’s shares on a forward P/E close to 16, with 9 out of 20 brokers currently rating the shares as a ‘hold’.

However, whether the shares really do represent a ‘hold’ at this price, only you can decide.

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> Andy does not own the shares mentioned.