Business

Wolseley profits rise on US trading boost

Wolseley warehouse
Image caption Wolseley said it was on target to meet its full-year forecasts

Building and heating materials group Wolseley has reported a jump in trading profits despite the "subdued" residential UK construction sector.

Trading profits for the three months to the end of April were £131m, up 30% on the £101m recorded a year earlier. Revenue was up 1% at £3.27bn.

The group said 10% growth in like-for-like revenue in the US had helped to offset "weaker trends in the UK".

Recent data has suggested the UK construction sector is slowing.

Insolvencies

"The group continued to make progress in the third quarter, broadly maintaining the revenue growth trends achieved in the first half despite tougher comparatives," said chief executive Ian Meakins.

"New residential construction, which accounts for 20% of group revenue, remained subdued in most regions."

He added that the group expected to meet its full-year targets.

On Tuesday, research from accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy suggested the number of construction firms in the UK that became insolvent in the first quarter of the year rose by 19% from the previous quarter to almost 1,000.

The closely-watched Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for construction also fell to 53.3 in April from 56.4 in March, due in part to a contraction in housing activity.

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