The building giant's trading statement reveals pre-tax profits for American operations have fallen further

Wolseley warned the US housing market shows no sign of recovery as it reported pre-tax profits in its American operation fall by 17%.

The building materials giant saw group pre-tax profits fall by 5%, admitting weak lumber and panel prices and branch closures in the US had contributed to the decline.

In a trading statement for the 11 months to the 30 June, Wolseley said: “There are no signs of any upturn in the US housing market and the timing of any recovery remains uncertain.” Approximately 25% of the group’s revenue comes from selling plumbing and building materials to the US housing market.

However, the group reported strong revenue growth at its UK operation of more than 15%, including around 10% organic growth, and said sales trends in Britain remained “positive”.

The group was further buoyed by revenue following from its acquisition of Scandinavian building materials supplier DT Group in September 2006.

Wolseley also made 41 smaller acquisitions in the last year which together are worth £374m, and expects to see an estimated £650m of extra revenue next year as a result.

Wolseley chief executive Chip Hornsby said: "The group has reacted swiftly and decisively to the difficult conditions in the US housing market and will continue to pursue its strategy to create competitive advantage and shareholder value from its leading market positions and excellent platform for future growth."