Chip Hornsby appointed chief executive as fellow American Charlie Banks announces retirement.

Wolseley, the FTSE 100 building materials company, today said that it had appointed Chip Hornsby to replace Charlie Banks as chief executive.

Hornsby is currently head of Wolseley’s three North American businesses – Ferguson Enterprises, Stock Building Supply and Wolseley Canada.

He will take up the role on 1 August 2006 when Banks retires.

He takes over at a time when Wolseley is in good financial shape. Today it announced that pre-tax profit in the year to 31 July rose 19% to £647.8m, on a turnover of £11.3bn, up 14%.

The board recommended a dividend of 26.4p a share, an increase of 11%.

Banks said: “In the UK, the repairs, maintenance and improvement, as well as the housing market are expected to show modest growth and positive trends is government spending are anticipated.”