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Wolseley Organic Sales Up 3.8% in Fiscal 2012

European distributor Wolseley plc reported sales for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2012, were £13.4 billion (US$21.7 billion), down 1 percent from fiscal 2011. Like-for-like sales increased 3.8 percent. Trading profit increased 7 percent to £665 million (US$1.1 billion).

Wolseley completed disposals of Build Center, Encon, Bathstore, Brossette and the group’s residual stake in Stock Building Supply during the fiscal year.  Combined revenue for the businesses sold and held for sale in the period was £705 million (US$1.1 billion).

“Demand across our markets remains mixed and the economic outlook continues to be uncertain. Revenue growth rates in the new financial year have been similar to the fourth quarter of last year,” said Ian Meakins, Wolseley chief executive. “We will continue to reduce our cost base to protect profitability but also to make investments in our businesses that will improve the quality of our operations and generate growth in the future.”

Sales in the U.S., which account for 48 percent of group sales, were £6.2 billion (US$10 billion), up 12.1 percent over the same period a year ago. Like-for-like sales increased 8.4 percent. Trading profit improved 24 percent to £389 million (US$629 million). Four acquisitions were completed in the year, accounting for 1.3 percent of revenue growth in the region.

Sales in Canada – 7 percent of group sales – were £850 million (US$1.4 billion), up 4.8 percent over sales in fiscal 2011. Like-for-like sales increased 4.5 percent. Trading profit rose 26 percent to £49 million (US$79 million).

UK sales – 13 percent of group sales – were £1.7 billion (US$2.7 billion), up slightly year-over-year. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased 0.8 percent. Trading profit increased 3 percent to £92 million (US$149 million).

In the Nordic region – 16 percent of group sales – sales grew slightly to £2 billion (US$3.3 billion). On a like-for-like basis, sales grew 1.1 percent. Trading profit was down 15 percent to £96 million (US$155 million). Wolseley completed five small acquisitions in the year including two bolt-on acquisitions in Denmark, two in Sweden and one in Norway.

Sales in France – 10 percent of group sales – were £1.3 billion (US$2.1 billion), 5 percent above fiscal 2011 results. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased 1.4 percent. Trading profit fell 35 percent to £30 million (US$48.5 million.

In Central Europe – 6 percent of group sales – sales fell slightly to £714 million (US$1.15 billion). Like-for-like sales declined 0.8 percent. Trading profit was £30 million (US$48.5 million), down 3 percent from the prior year.

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