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Wolseley to beat profit predictions

Building and heating supplies firm Wolseley highlighted an upturn in fortunes as it revealed it was on course to beat profit expectations.

The group, which trades as Build Center and Plumb Center, said most of its markets were continuing to stabilise.

Wolseley shares jumped 8 per cent in a weak market as investors welcomed the firm’s prediction that it expected to exceed the current City forecast for profits of £374 million in the year to 31 July.

It reported like-for-like revenues growth in the UK and Canada during the quarter to 30 April and said new residential and repair and maintenance markets were expected to continue to improve.

Wolseley chief executive Ian Meakins said: “Demand across the markets in which we operate remains mixed though most markets continue to stabilise.

“The UK and Canada generated like-for-like revenue growth and the revenue trend is encouraging in the USA. Our focus remains on improving customer service, maintaining market share and margins, driving efficiencies in our cost base and cash generation.”