Wolseley Suffers From Eurozone Woes


LONDON -- Shares in Wolseley dipped 3% this morning, shedding over £1, as it released its third-quarter figures.

The fall comes off the back of a decline in its European business, despite the the world's No. 1 distributor of heating and plumbing products seeing good growth in both the U.K. and the U.S.

Like-for-like revenue declined by 7.3% in the Nordic region, 9.2% in France and 4.6% across Central Europe, as construction markets and consumer sentiment remained very weak. However, the U.K. saw climbs of 5.2%, the U.S. 8.3%, while Canada remained flat.

Chief executive Ian Meakins commented:

Wolseley continued to make decent progress in the third quarter... We held our gross margin overall and controlled costs to generate 7.9% trading profit growth in the ongoing business.

We will continue to pursue operating efficiencies and remain focused on customer service, gaining market share and protecting our gross margins. We will manage the cost base of each of our businesses commensurate with market conditions while executing our growth initiatives in the more robust markets.

Across the group, revenue rose 6% while like-for-like revenue increased 2.4%, seeing a trading profit of £150 million -- 7.9% ahead of last year.

But this wasn't enough for investors this morning, as many sold their Wolseley shares in early trade amid fears of the company's heavy exposure to the turbulent eurozone.

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