Construction site
Travis Perkins has more than 28,000 employees across the UK and Ireland Reuters

Home improvement retailer Travis Perkins saw its sales rise in the first three months of 2017, despite higher costs and a mixed trading environment.

Total sales between in the January to March period were up 4.9% on the same time a year earlier, with like-for-like sales up 2.7%.

But the group said margins would come under pressure from rising input costs, especially in the plumbing and heating and contracts divisions as they involve a higher mix of imported products and commodities.

"We delivered solid like-for-like sales growth in the first quarter, with volumes across the group, as anticipated, broadly flat," Travis Perkins chief executive John Carter said.

"Revenue growth reflected careful pricing activity to recover input cost inflation assisted by the new pricing tools implemented over the last 12 months."

Like-for-like sales in the plumbing and heating division slipped 1.1% in the first quarter, but sales in the contracts division jumped 12.1%.

Last year, Travis Perkins announced that it would close 30 branches and axe 600 jobs due to uncertain customer demand in the UK.

Carter added: "Despite mixed trading conditions expected for the remainder of 2017, we continue to be confident in the longer term outlook for the building materials market and our opportunities to grow and outperform."