Wolseley ups forecast after cost cutting pays off

City A.M. Reporter
THE world's largest builders merchant distributor Wolseley anticipates beating market expectations for the full year after operating profit more than doubled in the third quarter on cost cutting.

Wolseley posted an underlying operating profit of £101m, rising from £48m for the same period last year.

However, revenue slipped two per cent on a like-to-like basis to £3.25bn.

"Demand across the markets in which we operate remains mixed though most markets continue to stabilise," Chief Executive Ian Meakins said.

"The UK and Canada generated like-for-like revenue growth and the revenue trend is encouraging in the USA," he added.

The group added it is seeing a continued recovery in new residential markets, but this is offset by declining commercial markets.

The plumbers and builders merchant has been battered by the downturn in key markets, forcing it to sell off weaker businesses.

Wolseley’s net debt rose to £1.06bn at the end of April from £910m at the end of January.