Wickes has revealed that the increased spread of Covid-19 and higher numbers of self-isolating staff impacted sales in December.
The home improvement retailer saw shares dip after it told shareholders that its Do It For Me business, which pays traders to complete home improvements, was hit by “a higher incidence of Covid disruption and self-isolation ahead of the holiday period”.
The retailer said this arm of the business had seen strong sales across October and November as it highlighted an overall “resilient” showing during the final quarter of 2021.
Wickes reported that total like-for-like sales dipped 5% over the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2020, but were still 14% of pre-pandemic levels.
It said that its core DIY business was buoyed by a “strong performance in local trade” over the three month period, as home renovations continued to bolster order books for tradespeople.
The group said like-for-like sales across last year were up 13.3% on 2020.
Wickes added that its recently refitted stores performed well over the year and laid out plans for further refits in 2022.
David Wood, chief executive officer of Wickes, said the company is “mindful of the external environment” amid continued supply and cost pressure but stressed that it looks to the future “with confidence”.
He said: “Wickes has performed very well during 2021, testament to the appeal of our customer offer and our ongoing focus on price leadership.
“We believe that our service-led and digitally-enabled proposition leaves us well placed within a highly attractive home improvement market.
“I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their hard work and support as we continue to help the nation feel house proud.”
Shares in the company were 0.9% lower at 217p.