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Wolseley pre-tax profits fall 60%

Profits at Wolseley were less than half what they were this time last year, according to the builders and plumbers merchant group’s statement for the 11 months to June 30.
Results for the full year to July 31 will be published on September 30, however, the group believes there will be no sign of recovery for the rest of 2009.

Wolseley said that while there were signs the UK new homes market is picking up, the commercial and industrial sectors are getting worse.

Revenue of £13.25bn was down 1.5% or 16% in constant currency, with trading profit at £368m 47% lower than last year. Pre-tax profits were 60% down at £233m.

In Europe, revenue in the UK and Ireland deteriorated as the rate of decline of the UK commercial and industrial markets increased and the market in Ireland remained extremely tough.

In the eleven months to June 30 the Irish business made a trading loss of £20 million. Overall, revenue for the UK and Ireland decreased by over 15% and trading profit was approximately 75% lower than last year.

Action to reduce cost so far is expected to save £200m this financial year and annualised benefits of £392 million.

Over the past two years Wolseley has reduced its global workforce from 80,000 to 50,000, with 3,254 people going in the UK and Ireland in the last 11 months.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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