StockMarketWire.com - Builders' merchant Travis Perkins swung to a first-half profit and reinstated its interim dividend following a recovery in repairs, maintenance and improvement markets.

Net profit for the six months through June amounted to £52.5 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £113.3 million and included a loss from discontinued operations of £47.3 million.

Travis Perkins recently sold its plumbing and heating business and spun off its Wickes DIY chain as a separately listed company.

Pre-tax profit amounted to £145.7 million, compared to a year-on-year loss of £94.5 million, as revenue jumped 38% to £2.30 billion.

Travis Perkins reinstated its interim dividend at 12p per share.

It also planned to return the £325 million proceeds from the plumbing and heating sale to shareholders via a 35p special dividend as soon as practicable and start a share buyback.

'Our businesses have continued to play a critical role in the construction sector's ongoing recovery and, while some uncertainty still remains, the end markets for our trade-focused businesses remain robust,' chief executive Nick Roberts said.

'As a result, I am cautiously optimistic around the outlook for the business and confident in our ability to make further progress in the second half of the year.'

'We look forward to updating shareholders on our future plans in September.'

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