Conditions in Continental Europe still tough for Wolseley

Like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth at plumbing merchant Wolseley continues to be polarised across its geographic regions, with growth in the US and Central Europe accelerating and declines in France and the Nordic markets worsening.

Like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth at plumbing merchant Wolseley continues to be polarised across its geographic regions, with growth in the US and Central Europe accelerating and declines in France and the Nordic markets worsening.

The first quarter of the financial year even saw UK LFL revenue growth slip into the red, down 0.3% on the year before, compared with a 3.5% rise in the preceding fourth quarter. Demand in the UK heating market was weak, though trading profits managed to grow slightly in the division, the group said.

"Wolseley has continued to generate good growth in the USA and Canada though revenue has declined in Continental Europe as a result of continuing tough market conditions, particularly in the Nordics and France, and unfavourable currency movements," said Chief Executive Ian Meakins.

He said: "In the current macroeconomic environment we are working hard to protect gross margins and to drive further operating efficiencies to protect profitability."

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