Construction returns to profit

Leading plumbing and construction supplier Wolseley saw its shares climb 3.8 percent and top the key gainers on the FTSE 100 this morning following the release of its results.

The company posted half year net profit figures of $213m and said that trading across its networks improved, which will allow it to resume paying a dividend. A 15p a share interim dividend was announced by the company in spite of expressing some caution about the outlook.

On the reinstatement of the dividend and the group outlook CEO Ian Meakins said: “The dividend reflects the strength of our balance sheet and our confidence in the future trading prospects of the group. We expect to continue to grow in the second half of the year, though the comparatives will now be much more demanding.”

Despite challenging conditions the company’s revenue increased by 5 percent on a like for like basis whilst results showed that gross margin was 0.2 percent higher than last year at 27.7 percent.

The supplier also announced that it saw improved trading profit and operating leverage across all geographies with a trading profit of $440m, or 64 percent ahead of last year.

It also said that good cash generation with adjusted net debt reduced by $419.5m since July 31.

Commenting on trading Meakins added: “Construction markets have now broadly stabilised in most of our geographies, particularly the new residential and RMI segments in the USA. The overall macro-economic environment in several regions continues to be fragile and pricing competition remains intense. The impact of recent VAT increases and government spending cuts leaves the outlook in the UK more uncertain.”

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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