Wolseley profits more than double on US growth

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Building materials group Wolseley today said its annual profits had more than doubled thanks to a “strong” performance in the US.

The firm, which owns the Plumb Center chain and market-leading US plumbing supplies firm Ferguson, also announced that shareholders are in line for a £300 million windfall through a special dividend and share consolidation.

For the year to the end of July, Wolseley reported a pre-tax profit of £473m, up from £198m a year earlier, on revenues from its ongoing businesses up 4.1 per cent at £12.9 billion.

The board proposed a final dividend of 44p a share, taking the total payout for the year to 66p, an increase of 10 per cent on last time.

Chief executive Ian Meakins said: “The highlight of these results was another strong performance across our US business, where we achieved good revenue growth and the trading margin of 7.3 per cent was ahead of the previous peak achieved in 2007.

“Wolseley continues to be highly cash generative and we have adequate resources to fund future investment in the business alongside growth in ordinary dividends.”