Travis Perkins helps itself

Another impressive dose of self help lifted last year's adjusted operating profits by 4.3 per cent to £327m for Travis Perkins (TPK), which is pretty good considering that the builders' merchant was up against the effects of continued economic uncertainty and the wettest weather conditions in living memory. In fact, while the UK's inflation rate was 3.1 per cent in 2012, the group's like-for-like overheads fell by 2.3 per cent despite further investment in the business.

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