Wolseley Group reports slowing growth

Published:  07 June, 2016

Wolseley Group's third-quarter trading update has reported slowing growth and weaker demand across a number of its markets.

The update, released on 1 June, revealed like-for-like revenue growth in the UK fell 0.4% compared with last year. The Group said the UK repair, maintenance and improvement markets remained weak, however acquisitions contributed 2.8% to revenue growth.

According to the update, its trading profit of £26m was in line with the previous year, before £2m of restructuring costs. The Group is currently reviewing the UK operating model, and expects the review to be completed by August 2016. Wolseley Group has committed to further restructuring across both the UK and European market, and expects the total costs for this, for the full year, to be approximately £20m.

The Group operates in a number of markets including the US, Canada and Central Europe. It described the USA market as being "impacted by weak demand" and commodity inflation, while like-for-like revenue in Central Europe declined by 0.2%. Trading profits in Central Europe, at £4m, were £1m ahead of last year, however.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Ian Meakins said: "Wolseley generated decent revenue growth in the third quarter in mixed market conditions and against continued deflationary headwinds. The UK heating market continued to be challenging and we continue to take actions to protect profitability."

Mr Meakins is due to retire on 31 August, 2016, and will be succeeded by current chief financial officer (CFO) John Martin, who joined the business in 2010. Simon Nicholls will replace Mr Martin as CFO.

The Group's full year results will be announced on 27 September, 2016.

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