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Ferguson, the U.S. business of Wolseley plc, reported sales for the fiscal year ended July 31 of £6.9 billion (US$11.2 billion), an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Trading profit increased 26.8 percent.
Ferguson’s major business units of Blended Branches, Waterworks and Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) gained market share. Blended Branches continued to grow strongly across the country underpinned by good renovation, maintenance and improvement (RMI) markets. New construction markets, which drive a smaller proportion of revenues, also improved. Ferguson’s consumer internet business, Build.com, continued to grow strongly and generated attractive returns.
Ferguson completed three acquisitions in the year which accounted for 2.4 percent of revenue growth. Fifty-four new branches were opened, principally in the Waterworks and Industrial segments.
Parent company Wolseley plc reported sales for the year ended July 31 of £12.9 billion (US$20.9 billion), an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the prior fiscal year. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased 2.9 percent. Trading profit increased 10.7 percent.
Ian Meakins, chief executive, said Wolseley's U.S. business, Ferguson, achieved strong revenue growth. “Canada and the UK performed well in tough market conditions," he said. "We continued to face substantial headwinds in Europe and took decisive action to protect profitability with significant headcount reductions in the year."
Wolseley's sales in Canada were £875 million (US$1.4 billion) for the year, an increase of 2.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Trading profit increased 4.1 percent to £51 million (US$82.8 million).
Sales in the UK were £1.8 billion (US$2.9 billion), an increase of 6.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Trading profit increased to 2.2 percent to £95 million (US$154.2 million).
Sales in the Nordic region were £1.9 billion (US$3.1 billion), a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Trading profit decreased 7.5 percent to £86 million (US$139.6 million).
Sales in France were £642 million (US$1 billion), a decrease of 10.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Trading profit decreased 41.2 percent to £10 million (US$16.2).
Sales in Central Europe were £867 million (US$1.4 billion), a decrease of 4.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Profit decreased to £33 million (US$53.6 million).