Revenue growth at FTSE 100 plumbing and heating supplier Wolseley accelerated at the start of the second half of its financial year, with a strong construction markets in the US helping profits to grow by 9.5 per cent.
Revenues in the three months to April 30 were 16.7 per cent higher than the same period last year, at £4.3bn. On a like for like basis, which excludes the impact of acquisitions as well as the weaker pound, sales were up 6.6 per cent.
The like for like growth rate was an improvement on the first two quarters of Wolseley’s financial year, and more than twice as fast as in the same quarter last year.
Trading profit increased by 9.5 per cent year on year to £254m. The weaker pound added £29m, but a reduced number of trading days compared to the same period last year reduced profit by £17m.
Wolseley has become increasingly reliant on Ferguson, its US arm, which provided 87 per cent of its third quarter profits. At the end of next month the whole company will be renamed Ferguson to reflect its US focus.
John Martin, Wolseley chief executive, said:
Revenue growth in the quarter was good with US residential and commercial markets growing well and industrial markets improving. The Nordics returned to growth and the UK was broadly flat.
Since the end of the period revenue growth has been broadly in line with the third quarter, gross margins and cost control have been good. The group expects trading profit for the full year to be in line with current analyst consensus expectations.