Wolseley shares rose 1.2 per cent in early trading after it posted a 52 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the year.
The heating and plumbing products supplier reported revenues of £13.1bn for the year to the end of July. Pre-tax profit stood at £698m, compared with £460m a year earlier.
The UK based company said it benefitted from strong growth in the USA, which accounts for 55 per cent of its revenue, while Europe and Canada remained subdued.
The company also revealed it would launch a £250m share buyback programme, which chief executive Ian Meakins said “reflects the group’s strong financial position”.
Wolseley has proposed to pay a final dividend of 55 pence per share, hiking its full-year total by 25 per cent to 82.5 pence per share.
Meakins said Wolseley was “highly cash generative” with “adequate resources to fund future investment in the business”.
Commenting on Wolseley’s full-year results, Meakins added:
The Group delivered a good overall result. The stand-out performance was the USA where we achieved a record 7.7 per cent trading margin and where our major businesses continued to strongly out-perform their markets. Like-for-like revenue was flat in the UK as we focused on protecting gross margins. We faced headwinds in Continental Europe and have continued to take actions to protect profitability.