Ian Meakins: Another decent performance for Wolseley.

Wolseley profit rises despite tough European market

Published:  28 March, 2012

LEAMINGTON SPA: Wolseley Plc posted a 28% rise in first-half profit but said its recent growth had slowed on weaker trading in Europe.

Wolseley, operator of the Plumb Center and Ferguson chains in Britain and the US, said pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of January was £250m on revenue – up 3% to £6.84bn.

The UK, which represents 15% of sales, declined 3%, while growth in Europe was mixed, with countries like Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland hampering growth elsewhere.

Earlier this year Wolseley sold as part of a disposal strategy its French distribution division Brossette and its UK-based Build Centre business for £310m to Saint-Gobain, which also owns the UK chain Jewson.

Ian Meakins, Wolseley Plc chief executive, said: "Wolseley has delivered another decent performance, despite challenging economic conditions in Europe, with like-for-like revenue growth of 5%.

"Like-for-like growth trends for the group since the end of the period have been slightly lower than the first half overall with the US a little better and Europe a little weaker. We will continue to pursue operating efficiencies and remain focused on improving customer service, gaining market share and protecting our gross margins."

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