Wolseley Sales Hit by U.S. Housing Slump

Wolseley revenues for the six months ended Jan. 31, 2008, increased 2% to £8.02 billion (US$16 billion at current exchange rates) Profit fell 23.1% for the period primarily due to losses at Stock Building Supply in the U.S.

Where Stock is concerned, the market has deteriorated considerably. It's beyond anything that we've experienced, in my view, since World War II. If you look at housing starts, they've dropped from 2.2 million to under 1 million. We're in a situation where we've made significant headcount and cost reductions,"said Chip Hornsby, Wolseley CEO.

"Now we've got to be able to begin to anticipate what's going to happen next, particularly where that organization is concerned. So we've gone in and begun to look at it more from a strategic standpoint ...