Wolseley UK has seen its trading profit hit as a result of the recent economic slowdown.
In its interim management statement for the nine months to April 30, 2008 Wolseley PLC stated that the trading profit for its UK business declined by 6 per cent.
The statement also highlighted April as a challenging month and said the market had slowed significantly.
Wolseley France was harder hit, with trading profit dropping 18 per cent in the same period.
The financial results for group as a whole were similar with the US housing market continuing to soften. Group trading profit was 23 per cent lower over the period.
Wolseley has engaged in considerable cost cutting measures particularly in the USA and Chip Hornsby (pictured), group chief executive indicated this would continue.
“Given the continuing tough market conditions, our response has been to take further action to lower the cost base and improve cash flow, while continuing to pursue our longer term strategic aims,” he said.
“The cost reduction actions outlined today will enable us to restructure the business further, so that we are better positioned for the challenges ahead.”
These actions include the closure of 75 branches and headcount reductions of 200 at American plumbing supplies subsidiary Ferguson and the closure or consolidation of 15 locations in Canada, with an associated headcount reduction of around 50 people.
The heating and plumbing giant is expected to announce further cost reductions in North America and Europe before July 31, 2008 and said it would provide further details in upcoming announcements.
Click here for the full Wolseley statement.