Wolseley sells two low-profit units for £310m

Wolseley has found a buyer for two of its underperforming business units, selling both to French rival Saint-Gobain for a total £310m.

The world’s biggest plumbers and builders merchant said it had sold building materials distribution firm Build Center for £145m and plumbing and heating distribution company Brossette for £165m.

The companies both had large sales but made virtually no profit for the group. Build Center made a £4m trading profit on revenues of £294m in the 11 months to the end of June.

Brossette made a £5m profit despite generating revenues of £590m.

Wolseley has sold several of its low profit businesses, most recently selling Electric Center to Edmundson Electrical earlier this month.

Wolseley chief executive Ian Meakins said the two latest sales allowed the company to “continue to focus and invest in our strongest businesses in core markets”.

“The transactions we have announced today are the last significant disposals planned following last year’s strategic review,” he said.

Analysts welcomed the news, saying the money generated would cut Wolseley’s debt and give it growth investment.