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September 20, 2017

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British building firm says 600 jobs at risk from Brexit

LONDON -- British building materials supplier Travis Perkins said Wednesday that up to 600 jobs were at risk from the uncertain economic outlook arising from Brexit.

The company which serves professionals and consumers employs a total of 28,000 people at 2,060 stores that include Tile Giant, Tool Station and Wickes.

A company spokeswoman told AFP that the Brexit was one of the major factors behind the gloomy outlook, adding that affected jobs were at trade-facing businesses.

Travis Perkins also warned annual underlying profit, or adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), would be below market expectations of £415 million (US$509 million) — and blamed weak plumbing and heating results.

The news sent the group's share price sliding almost seven percent in morning deals on the London stock market, topping the fallers' board on the FTSE 100 index.

"Given that levels of future demand remain difficult to predict, the group has chosen to implement a number efficiency programs and branch closures to further optimize the network," Travis Perkins said in a statement.

"This work includes the closure of ten smaller distribution and fabrication centers, the write off of certain IT legacy equipment and over 30 branch closures in our trade businesses.

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