Materials supplier plans to cut costs in UK as it reveals slump in profits

Wolseley has announced the loss of 6,000 jobs worldwide following a 35% fall in global pre-tax profit.

Chip Hornsby
Hornsby: conditions likely to get tougher

The materials giant said it would look to cut costs in the UK after experiencing a rapid deterioration in the domestic housing market.

The group said trading profit in the UK and Ireland fell 17% for the 11 months ended 30 June 2008. It also revealed a 46% fall in trading profit in the US.

Chip Hornsby, group chief executive, said: “The deterioration in some of our key markets continues and it is likely that conditions will get tougher still. In these unprecedented circumstances, driving cost reduction, enhancing cash flow and closely managing the balance sheet, remain key priorities.”

The group said it has cut 6,000 jobs since 1 August last year and that restructuring, which cost £57m, will result in £136m of savings.

Wolseley said it will dispose of non-strategic businesses. It recently sold three businesses in the US for £18m.