Wolseley cuts 1,000 European jobs as economic woes take toll

Kasmira Jefford
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WOLSELEY, the builders’ merchant, said yesterday it has cut 1,000 jobs across Europe and plans to make further cuts in France as the company battles against continued economic woes in the Eurozone.

The FTSE plumbing supplies group reported a 20 per cent fall in profit before tax to £199m in the half-year to 31 January as a result of weak housebuilding markets in Europe and pricing pressure in Britain.

The group, which has around 40,000 staff, revealed that it is in talks to restructure its French building materials business Reseau Pro.

It plans to sell 88 branches and close 24 others, resulting in about 400 jobs losses.

Wolseley has already cut 990 jobs in Europe since August last year, shrinking its headcount on the continent by 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the firm said that group revenues fell 8.1 per cent to £6.28bn in 2012. But its US arm continued its strong run with trading profits rising 29 per cent to £223m.