Construction site
Travis Perkins has more than 24,000 employees across the UK and Ireland Neil Hall/ Reuters

Home improvement retailer Travis Perkins has announced it is to close 30 branches in the UK and Ireland.

The Northampton-based company said the closures could affect as many as 600 employees and that it would incur one-time restructuring charges of between £40m and £50m ($49m-$61m).

Chief executive John Carter said there was uncertainty over customer demand in 2017.

Total sales increased 2% on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter, with consumer sales climbing 6.3%.

However, plumbing and heating sales declined by 4.1%, with Travis Perkins blaming weak demand and changing consumer buyer patterns.

"Our plumbing and heating results were disappointing and whilst market conditions have worsened, we are not satisfied with our performance and will commence reviewing these operations," Carter said in a statement.

"It is still too early to predict customer demand in 2017 with certainty and we will continue to monitor our lead indicators closely.

"Given this uncertainty we will be closing over 30 branches and making further efficiency driven changes in the supply chain, resulting in an exceptional charge of £40-50m this year."