Wolseley moves tax base to Switzerland
Published:  27 September, 2010

LONDON: National merchant Wolseley said it plans to change domicile to Switzerland for tax reasons as it posted flat year profit.

Wolseley said today it would create a new group holding company, 'New Wolseley', that will be UK listed, incorporated in Jersey, and will have tax residence in Switzerland.

Wolseley trades in the UK, the US, Canada, and 22 other countries and is the world's largest plumbing, heating products, and building materials supplier.

Wolseley said in a statement: "The board has concluded that the interests of its business and its shareholders are best served by establishing an international holding company corporate structure that will help provide more certainty in its taxation position."

Wolseley made a trading profit of 450m in the year to July 31 against 447m the previous year, on revenue down 9% to 13.2bn.

The company said revenue growth in the early part of its new financial year is similar to the 4% like-for-like growth seen in the fourth quarter. It added that although it was cautious about the outlook for its markets it was confident the group would make further progress this year and intended to resume dividends at the half-year results.

Wolseley also said John Whybrow will retire as chairman at the company's next annual shareholders' meeting and be succeeded by Gareth Davis.

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