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Wickes expects profits at top end of expectations

(Sharecast News) - Shares in Wickes gained on Friday after the DIY and trade home improvement retailer said 2023 profits would be at the top end of market forecasts following a solid end to the financial year. Adjusted pre-tax profit for last year is expected to be at the upper end of the market consensus range of £44.9m to £48.3m, though down from £75.4m in 2022.

Full-year like-for-like sales were down 0.3% in total, though the company noted a mixed in its Core business and Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) category in the fourth quarter.

In the Core business, which comprises product sales to Trade and DIY customers, LFL sales had improved by 1.2% in the fourth quarter, representing the third consecutive quarter of revenue growth. The company put this down to positive volume growth, with slight selling price deflation in the quarter.

However, DIFM LFL sales were down 13.7% due to a subdued consumer environment for larger projects, as well as delivery delays from the new software implementation.

"We have delivered a robust sales performance in the year, against a challenging market backdrop, and with a tight control on costs we expect to achieve a full year profit outturn at the upper end of market expectations," said chief executive David Wood.

"We remain confident in our growth levers and in 2023 we have invested further in new stores, refits and our digital capability. This leaves us well-placed to continue to outperform the market in 2024 and beyond."

The stock was up 4.4% at 151.2p by 0903 GMT.

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