Wolseley reports growth in revenues and slump in profits

By Steve Skinner23 September 2008

Chip Hornsby, group chief executive of Wolseley

Chip Hornsby, group chief executive of Wolseley

Wolseley reported group revenues of UK£ 16,5 billion (€ 20,8 billion) in the year ending 31 July 2008, up +2% on 2007 figures of UK£ 16,2 billion (€ 20,4 billion).

However, following exceptional restructuring costs and write-downs, profits dropped -60% from UK£ 753 million (€ 948 million) in 2007 to UK£ 301 million (€ 379 million) in 2008.

“The financial year saw Wolseley close 270 branches and reduce staff numbers by 7100 in an aggressive cost cutting exercise prompted by significant market deterioration,” said a company statement. “Plans are ongoing regarding additional restructuring and cost reductions. In particular, a fundamental review is being undertaken to reduce the impact on the group of the North American Stock building supply business that has been particularly hard hit by the US housing decline.”

“We have continued to take action to reduce costs and drive working capital improvements in response to challenging market conditions,” said group chief executive, Chip Hornsby. “While these conditions have significantly impacted many of our businesses this year, our employees have done a good job at responding to tough markets.

“Financial discipline in terms of cost reduction and cash flow enhancement remains our primary focus to ensure the group is well positioned for any market recovery.”
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