The former DKH Ltd timber and builders merchant in Preston, Lancashire has become Travis Perkins plc’s 500th branch.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, has filled an important gap for Travis Perkins, according to chief executive Frank McKay.

‘Ideally we would like to have a good geographic balance,’ he said, ‘but it is a bit feast and famine. We are chasing a lot of potential acquisitions and there are quite a few in the pipeline but I cannot say they are going to be equally spread throughout the country.

‘We might get three or four at a pop then nothing happens for a little while and then another batch comes through. We are quite strong in the south and that is an attractive market for us. Getting into the north-west is a big step as we were very much lacking there.’

Mr McKay said timber and forest products would represent around 25% of the products on sale at the latest site – on a par with other Travis Perkins branches.

‘We will expand the timber offering and include everything from carcassing to mouldings, doors and windows. There may even be some trus joists and I-beams in the future.’

Travis Perkins bought the 1.5 acre DKH site about two months ago and Mr McKay said: ‘We will be developing it, putting in some investment and additional capacity and re-doing the shop in the Travis Perkins fashion.’

The company aims to secure a UK market share of around 20% within five years. Group annual sales are approaching £1.3bn and the company has a current market share of around 13% which implies the addition of 200 or more branches if it is to meet its five year target.