Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins is the latest construction business to cite heavy rain as a primary cause of the industry’s current woes.
There has been much comment about how the 5.2% fall in construction output in the second quarter of 2012 has resulted in an overall 0.7% fall in the UK’s GDP.
The over-riding impression is that the fall in construction output is primarily a result of public spending cuts. The impact of the record rainfall has evaded analysis but anecdotal evidence increasingly suggests that the weather impact could be a primary cause, meaning that construction activity has only been postponed rather than eliminated.
Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said this morning: “Whilst weather patterns normally average themselves out over any trading period, it has been difficult to ignore the impact on the results of the first half trading of the wettest three months since records began. This has inhibited construction activity and particularly constrained turnover in our heavy-side related businesses in a market already struggling to recover to more normal levels.”
Earlier this month block paving producer Marshalls attributed £10m of lost sales to the weather, prompting a £7m corporate restructuring.
Travis Perkins’ interim results, out today, show that revenue was down 0.7% on a like-for-like basisat £2,412m. Adjusted profit before tax was up 7.3% to £137m.