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Wolseley to change name to Ferguson

Plumbers merchant group Wolseley plc is to change its name to Ferguson, the better to reflect the fact that the American plumbing name accounts for 84% of trading profit.

The announcement was made as the group posted its half year results for the six months to January 31 2017. The UK and Canada will still trade as Wolseley.

Revenue at £8,461m was 6.7% ahead of last year, with trading profit 25% up at £515m.

In the UK, UK revenue was £1,011m , up 1.5%, with trading profit of £35m, down 2.8%.

John Martin, Chief Executive, said: “The Group delivered a good trading performance in the first half driven by Ferguson. In the US, residential and commercial markets remained good and industrial markets improved but were still negative.

“The UK transformation programme has started well and we are making good progress clarifying our customer propositions and simplifying our logistics network. We have concluded our review of the Nordic operating strategy and identified a clear and executable plan to return the business to profitable growth. However, there are few synergies with the rest of the Group’s plumbing and heating businesses and we have initiated a process to exit our business in the region.

“Ferguson now accounts for 84 per cent of Group trading profit and we have decided to align the Group’s name with our most significant brand in our largest market. Whilst the Group will be known as Ferguson plc going forward we will continue to use the Wolseley name in the UK and Canada where it has strong local recognition.

“We expect the Group to make further progress in the second half.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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