Materials firm's job losses since 2006 market peak now total 10,600

Materials supplier Wolseley is to axe 3,000 more jobs in the US as plummeting market conditions continue to hit its business.

After a review of its US building materials business, Stock Building Supply, Wolseley has announced that it will close 86 branches, on top of 70 closures it has already made since the market peaked in January 2006. The staff reductions will mean that the firm has cut 10,600 jobs since that time.

The division, which reported a trading loss of $246m (£123m) in the year ended 31 July 2008, is expected to take a $225m (£138m) hit on restructuring costs as a result of the changes before 31 January 2009, together with an impairment of more than $100m (£61m) in the carrying value of Stock's goodwill and intangible assets.

Chip Hornsby
Hornsby: "The measures we are taking will move us back towards profitability"

However, the firm said that the action is expected to reduce the annual rate of losses by around $100m (£61m) and result in losses of less than $200m (£123m) for Stock in the year ending 31 July 2009.

Chip Hornsby, group chief executive of Wolseley, said: “With the on-going decline in US new residential construction, significant over-capacity in the industry and the consequential negative impact that Stock is having on the group's results, it is imperative that we take further action to restructure this business.

“The measures we are taking will move us back towards profitability, while still keeping a presence in key districts for when the market recovers.”