- Builders' merchant and DIY group Travis Perkins said it would lay off 2,500 employees, or 9% of its workforce, due to a more challenging outlook for the UK economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The company said it had commenced a consultation process regarding the closure of around 165 branches, representing about 8% of its network.

Volumes in May were around 60% of prior year, though with an improving trend throughout the month.

The weekly volume run rate was now around 85-90% of prior year with particular strength in Wickes' core DIY ranges and in Toolstation.

'However, while there has been a significant recovery in trading volumes in recent weeks, it is evident that the UK is facing a recession and this will have a corresponding impact on the demand for building materials during 2020 and 2021,' Travis Perkins added.

'Reflecting the challenging outlook for our end-markets, the group is taking regrettable but necessary actions to preserve the future competitiveness of the business.'

At 1:11pm: [LON:TPK] Travis Perkins PLC share price was -31p at 1048.5p

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