Plumbers merchant group Wolseley plc saw revenues rise 2.1% in the first quarter of the financial year, according to an interim management statement released today.
Group sales were £3,325m for the three months ended October 31, compared with £3,641m this time last year. Trading profit was £198m, up from last time’s £185m.
Revenue in the UK was in line with last year at £428m, with trading profit marginally ahead at £24m from £23m this time last year. Demand remained weak in the heating market and this was reflected in slightly lower gross margins.
Ian Meakins, chief executive said: “Wolseleyy has continued to generate good growth in the USA and Canada though revenue has declined in Continental Europe as a result of continuing tough market conditions, particularly in the Nordics and France, and unfavourable currency movements.
“Improvements to customer service continued to drive market share gains in our largest business units. In the current macroeconomic environment we are working hard to protect gross margins and to drive further operating efficiencies to protect profitability.
“Cash generation is a key focus and the strength of our balance sheet provides opportunities to invest selectively where we can generate good returns.”