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Britain’s biggest builders merchant, Travis Perkins, is closing more than 30 branches, putting 600 jobs at risk.

Around 28,000 people are employed by Travis Perkins, which hopes to relocate some of the affected staff to other sites.

Britain’s biggest supplier of building materials is to axe 600 jobs and close more than 30 branches due to falling underlying sales.

The company – which also owns Wickes – said it was taking the steps due to an “uncertain UK outlook” for next year. They said it would not meet its £415 million market expectation for full-year profits, blaming a disappointing performance in its plumbing and heating business.

Travis Perkins is to also close 10 smaller distribution centres and review its plumbing and heating division.

The 600 affected workers have been told of the changes, while the firm is also closing 10 smaller distribution centres and writing off IT equipment.

A spokesperson for Travis Perkins said:

“Given that levels of future demand remain difficult to predict, the group has chosen to implement a number of efficiency programmes and branch closures to further optimise the network.

“This work includes the closure of 10 smaller distribution and fabrication centres, the write-off of certain IT legacy equipment and over 30 branch closures in our trade businesses.”

 Travis Perkins was one of the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 following the Brexit vote on fears of a hit to the UK’s property and construction sectors.

Shares in the company fell six per cent in early trading on Wednesday, and are down more than 22 per cent since the referendum.

The group trades from over 20 businesses, including Wickes and Tile Giant, delivering to both big building firms and DIY-consumers across 2,000 UK stores.