Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wolseley's Pain Worsens in a Tough Building Market

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wolseley's Pain Worsens in a Tough Building Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Lea

IF the US and Britain are coming out of recession, someone has forgotten to tell Wolseley.

The stricken taps and radiators group, the world's largest plumbing supplies company, said today revenues have slumped 20% to [pounds sterling]3.4 billion in the three months to the end of October and trading profit has collapsed 46% to [pounds sterling]104 million.

That isn't much improvement on its full-year results when Wolseley admitted sales had dived 16% and trading profits had crashed 52%.

"The overall trading environment continues to be extremely tough," said Ian Meakins, the new chief executive, a Brit brought in from the bureau de change group Travelex after shareholders had decided they had had enough of American Chip Hornsby's attempts to turn Wolseley round.

Meakins said its industrial and commercial businesses are still deteriorating while its operations supplying the new-build and home improvement markets are only moving towards what he called stabilisation. …

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