European distributor Wolseley plc reported sales for the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 31, 2012, of £3.3 billion (US$5.4 billion), an increase of 0.9 percent over the same period a year ago. Organic sales increased 2.1 percent. Trading profit increased 7.6 percent to £198 million (US$318.7 million).
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"In the current macroeconomic environment we are working hard to protect gross margins and to drive further operating efficiencies to protect profitability. Cash generation is a key focus and the strength of our balance sheet provides opportunities to invest selectively where we can generate good returns,” Ian Meakins, chief executive, said.
U.S. sales were £1.7 billion (US$2.7 billion), an increase of 9.6 percent year-over-year. Organic sales increased 7.1 percent. Trading profit increased 23 percent to £122 million (US$196.4 million). Wolseley completed two bolt-on acquisitions during the period: Davis and Warshow, a Blended Branches business in New York, and Power Equipment Direct, an online retailer of generators and power equipment. The businesses had combined annual revenue and trading profit of £125 million (US$201 million) and £10 million (US$16.1 million), respectively.
Sales in Canada were £247 million (US$397.6 million), an increase of 4.8 percent over the same period a year ago. Organic sales increased 3.1 percent. Trading profit increased 5.9 percent to £18 million (US$29 million).
In the UK, sales were £428 million (US$688.9 million), flat to the prior year. Organic sales decreased 0.3 percent. Trading profit increased 4 percent to £24 million (US$38.6 million).
In the Nordic region, sales were £532 million (US$856.3 million), a 10.1 percent decrease from the same period a year ago. Organic sales decreased 4.3 percent. Trading profit decreased 10.5 percent to £34 million (US$54.7 million).
Sales in France were £250 million (US$402.4 million), a 17.1 percent decline from the same period a year ago. Organic sales decreased 8.2 percent. Wolseley reported a £1 million (US$1.6) trading loss in the quarter, compared to a trading profit of £3 million (US$4.8 million) in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
Sales in Central Europe were £190 million (US$305.8 million), a 7.8 percent decrease from the same period a year ago. Organic sales increased 1.3 percent. Trading profit decreased 7.1 percent to £13 million (US$20.9 million).