Wickes said first-half profits surpassed its targets on the back of strong digital volumes, as the company announced its first dividend payment.

Shares in the home improvement retailer, which only floated on the stock market earlier this year after splitting from Travis Perkins, rose after the positive trading update.

Wickes has upgraded its profit guidance (Wickes/PA)

Wickes told investors that adjusted pre-tax profits increased to £46.5 million for the six months to June 26, ahead of its previous guidance of around £45 million.

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It said it therefore now expects to deliver a full-year adjusted pre-tax profit towards the “upper end” of market expectations.

The company said activity has continued to grow over the past year, with home-owners seeking to work on their properties after reassessing them during lockdowns.

Revenues grew by 32.5% to £812 million compared with the same period last year, while like-for-like sales were 22.4% ahead of pre-pandemic levels from 2019.

The firm said its performance continues to be underpinned by digital growth, with two-thirds of all sales driven through its online channels.

Chief executive David Wood told the PA news agency that Wickes has seen particularly strong demand from local traders in recent months.

“We have shifts regarding DIY or hiring us to perform installations, but at the moment it feels like local trade has seen a particular boom and that has been really positive for us,” he said.

“Order schedules from some local traders are booked until Christmas so we have some good visibility to see this demand trend continuing.

“One area where we have seen particularly strong demand is in gardens. People are looking more closely at how to use their outdoor space and investing there, so that it something we are really aware of.”

Wickes shares were 2.6% higher at 238.4p after early trading on Thursday.