British plumbing giant Wolseley cuts losses

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Wolseley, the world's biggest distributor of plumbing and heating products, announced on Monday a significant reduction in annual losses after a strong second half to its financial year.

Wolseley said in a results statement that it suffered a net loss of 340 million pounds (399 million euros, 538 million dollars) in the 12 months to July 31.

The loss after tax compared with a much larger shortfall of 1.17 billion pounds in 2008/2009.

Sales fell nearly nine percent to 13.2 billion pounds in the reporting period.

"In the second half ... an improvement in like-for-like revenue growth, continued cost discipline and a consistent focus on protecting gross margins delivered results ahead of expectations," said Wolseley chief executive Ian Meakins.

"Recognising this improved performance the board intends to resume dividends," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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