Building materials firm increases market share but half-year results show sales are hit by poor performance in US
Building materials supplier Wolseley has announced a pre-tax operating loss of £261m for the half year ended 31 January 2010.
Total group sales reached £6,331m, 15.1% below last year, but while the majority of the group’s businesses maintained or improved market share trading profit was down a third on 2009 mainly as a result of poor performance of the US market.
Ian Meakins, group chief executive, said: “The results for the first half reflect good progress on cost reductions which were delivered ahead of schedule. Market conditions remain challenging, though we are now seeing stabilisation in many of our markets.
Market conditions remain challenging, though we are now seeing stabilisation in many of our markets
Ian Meakins, group chief executive
"Against this backdrop, the group will continue to focus on an improved service to customers, maintaining market share and gross margins, delivering a good cash performance and maintaining cost discipline.”
In the six month to the end of January the company has continued to restructure with the loss of 1,901 jobs it has also exited underperforming businesses in Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The company says the economic environment continues to provide limited visibility and that while residential markets have now broadly stabilised commercial and industrial markets continue to decline, particularly in the US.