- Builders merchant Travis Perkins said it would attempt to sell its plumbing and heating division as part of a broader corporate restructure that would also involve slashing costs and 'maximising the value' of its Wickes DIY chain.

The company said it would target annualised cost savings of £20-30m, to be delivered over the next 18 months.

Travis Perkins had been in the process of turning around the plumbing and heating unit, which had weighed on previous earnings results.

'Following on from the success of the plumbing and heating transformation programme, the board has concluded that as part of the process of simplification, now is the time to explore the potential sale of the division,' it said.

'This will facilitate more focused management attention and capital deployment on the higher returning areas, and creates further opportunities to simplify the group and reduce costs.'

Travis Perkins said it would swing its focus behind its trades businesses. Options for its Wickes DIY unit, meanwhile, would also be considered.

'As it is a predominantly consumer focused business, the board will also look to review the options for maximising the value of Wickes in the medium term,' it said.

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