More than 200 branches will close as profit falls 45% at international materials supplier

Building materials firm Wolseley said that it will cut 2300 more jobs, most of them in the UK, and close more than 200 branches as it announced a 45% slump in pre-tax profit.

In a statement to the stock exchange for the three months to 31 October, the firm said it has already axed 5000 posts in the first quarter as trading conditions deteriorated.

Chief executive Chip Hornsby said the worsening market conditions are “not unexpected” and that the group will continue to look for ways to cut costs and reduce debts.

He said: “We continue to react swiftly to market conditions with aggressive but measured cost reduction. In these unprecedented circumstances, the key priorities remain driving cost reduction and enhancing cash flow to ensure the group remains compliant with its banking covenants.”

Wolseley includes m&e suppliers Electric Center, Pipe Centre and Climate Center.