Plumbers merchant group Wolseley plc is launching a £250 million share buyback programme after it reported a strong rise in annual profits.
The Group’s results for the year ended 31 July 2014 show that profit before tax jumped up to £698m from last year’s £460m.
In the USA, the firm achieved a record 7.7% trading margin, but its performance in Europe remained subdued with its like-for-like revenue flat in the UK.
This year, Wolseley increased the dividend by 25 per cent, including a rebasing of 15 per cent announced at the half year, and its board is recommending a final dividend of 55 pence per share which brings the total dividend for the year to 82.5 pence per share.
Commenting on the outlook for the Group, Ian Meakins, chief executive of Wolseley plc, said: “The overall like-for-like revenue growth rate for the Group since the beginning of the new financial year has been broadly in line with Q4. Overall we expect the Group’s like-for-like revenue growth rate for the next six months to be about 5 per cent.”