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UK-based Ferguson plc, formerly Wolseley plc, reported sales for the fiscal year ended July 31 of £17.3 billion (US$22.9 billion), an 18 percent increase over the previous year. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 6 percent. Trading profit increased 8.7 percent to £1 billion (US$1.3 billion).
U.S. business sales were up 7.1 percent from last year to £11.8 billion (US$13.9 billion) on a like-for-like basis. On an actual basis, sales were up 10.4 percent. Trading profit in the U.S. was up 8.2 percent to £950 million (US$1.1 billion).
Blended Branches, Waterworks, HVAC, Fire and Fabrication and Facilities Supply generated good growth and gained market share. Industrial revenues recovered after a weak first half which was impacted by a slowdown in end markets. Build.com, the company's B2C e-commerce business, continued to grow strongly throughout the year. Acquisitions contributed 2.7 percent of additional revenue in the year.
E-commerce accounted for over £2.6 billion (US$3.1 billion) (22 percent) of revenue in the U.S. Trading profit was 8.2 percent ahead of last year at constant exchange rates and exchange rate movements increased trading profit by £116 million (US$136.4 million). The U.S. trading margin was 8 percent.
Nine acquisitions were completed during the year with total annualized revenue of £267 million (US$314 million). Since the year end the company has acquired two more B2C businesses, AC Wholesalers and Supply.com which generate £86 million (US$101.1 million) of annualized revenue. During the year, the company disposed of Endries, a small fasteners business, for £186 million (US$ million). The business generated revenue of £170 million (US$200 million) and trading profit of £16 million (US$18.8 million) in the 10 months to disposal in June 2017.
Sales in the UK grew 1 percent from last year to £2 billion (US$2.4 billion) on a like-for-like basis. On an actual basis, sales were up 0.8 percent.
Canada & Central Europe
Like-for-like sales in Canada and Central Europe increased 3.6 percent from last year to £1 billion (US$1.2 billion). On an actual basis, sales were up 5 percent. Acquisitions contributed 0.9 percent of additional growth. Since the year end the company has acquired three more businesses, Aircovent in the Netherlands and Plomberium Pierrefonds and Tackaberry in Canada, combined they generate £23 million (US$27.1 million) of annualized revenue.