- Revenue of the ongoing businesses 9.8% ahead of last year at constant exchange rates, including like-for-like growth of 6.6%.
- Gross margin of the ongoing businesses of 27.5%, in line with last year.
- Trading profit of the ongoing businesses £235 million, 13.5% ahead of last year at constant FX rates.
- Foreign exchange movements adversely impacted trading profit by £9 million.
- Good cash generation with net debt at 31 October 2014 of £858 million after purchasing £120 million of own shares.
- Four bolt-on acquisitions completed in the quarter with total annualized revenue of £26 million.
- Since the end of the quarter, we have agreed to the disposal of a small non-core business in the USA for cash consideration of £19 million.
Commenting on the results, Ian Meakins, Chief Executive, said:
“Wolseley has continued to generate strong revenue growth across all businesses and all regions in the USA with double-digit growth for the second consecutive quarter. We generated modest like-for-like revenue growth in Canada, UK and Nordics. Central Europe and France declined due to continued weak market conditions. While we held our gross margins overall, there remained substantial pressure on gross margins throughout Europe. We controlled our operating expenses resulting in good flow-through to trading profit in the ongoing businesses. Cash generation was strong and we are continuing to invest in technology and new business models to deliver better customer service and gain market share.”
During the quarter the Group generated revenue from the ongoing businesses of £3,506 million, 9.8% ahead of last year at constant exchange rates and 6.6% ahead on a like-for-like basis including 0.9% price inflation. The gross margin of 27.5% was in line with last year. Operating costs were well controlled. Trading profit of £235 million was 13.5% higher than last year at constant exchange rates and the first quarter trading margin improved by 20 basis points to 6.7% for the ongoing businesses. The number of trading days was the same as in the first quarter last year.
For further information please contact:
John Martin, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +41 (0) 41723 2230
Mark Fearon, Director of
Corporate Communications and IR
Mobile: +44 (0) 7711 875070