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Wolseley reports weak UK trading

Published: 20 June 2017

Wolseley Group provided an interim statement this morning on their performance during Q3, the three months to 30 April 2017.

“Revenue growth in the quarter was good with US residential and commercial markets growing well and industrial markets improving,” commented chief executive John Martin. “The Nordics returned to growth and the UK was broadly flat. Since the end of the period revenue growth has been broadly in line with the third quarter, gross margins and cost control have been good. The Group expects trading profit for the full year to be in line with current analyst consensus expectations.

”During the quarter the Group generated revenue of £4,270 million, 4.6% ahead of last year at constant exchange rates and 6.6% ahead on a like-for-like basis. Trading profit of £254 million included a £29 million favourable impact from exchange rate movements. There were two fewer trading days in the period which reduced trading profit by £17 million and there will be one more day in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter last year. In the third quarter a £30 million exceptional charge was incurred as a result of restructuring in the UK and Nordic regions.”

"Wolseley has seen like-for-like revenue growth of 6.6% and exchange rate movements increased revenue by £423 million; while  gross margin of 28.5% was 0.1% ahead of last year. Net debt at 30 April 2017 was £1,132 million in line with last year. Three acquisitions were completed in the quarter for total consideration of £21 million, the merger of Tobler with Walter Meier was completed on 6 April 2017 and we sold Endries, a small US fasteners business for net proceeds of £186 million on 1 June 2017. Changing the Group name to Ferguson plc has now been approved by shareholders and will take effect on 31 July 2017. 

“Like-for-like revenue in the UK was 0.4% lower than last year including inflation of 3%. Repairs, maintenance and improvement markets remained weak. Gross margins were slightly ahead of last year and trading profit of £23 million was £3 million behind last year due to two fewer trading days. We continued to make good progress with the transformation strategy announced in September 2016.” 


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