Travis Perkins Buoyant despite Mixed Economy
Byline: Cheryl Cole
A round of annual meetings and trading updates yesterday gave a mixed picture of the state of the British economy.
Good news came from builders' merchants Travis Perkins where sales have shot up 22 per cent since the start of the year, confirming beliefs that the construction industry is enjoying buoyant times.
Like-for-like sales in the period were up 4.5 per cent and chairman Tim Stevenson said the business had benefited from the spell of good weather in March and above average sales over the Easter period.
Shares surged 31p to 1156p. Electrical engineering group T Clarke also lit a match under its shares with news it was on track to produce another record year of completed work and profits.
In January T Clarke had claimed that prospects for 2003 looked grim, with signs new work in the commercial construction market had begun to dry up.
However, at the group's annual meeting yesterday, managing director Pat Stanborough told shareholders that his original fears had so far proved unfounded.
The group, which is currently working on the BBC's new Mailbox base in Birmingham, has been awarded a number of major long term contracts with bluechip clients across a number of sectors and now looked forward to exceeding current market expectations.
Analysts are looking for profits for the year ending this December of pounds 6.55 million.
Shares rose 35p to 399p. Meanwhile, it was tears at Homestyle which was yesterday counting the cost of a dip in furniture sales after earlier warning of difficulties. …