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Wolseley Group announces £1 billion losses

DIY giant Wolseley has rocked the UK market with the announcement of £1 billion losses over the last 12 months against a profit of £399 million just 12 months previous. The company is massive in the UK plumbing industry and has been impacted by both the consumer downturn and the business downturn which have had a monumental impact upon the company's balance sheet. As a result, the dividend has been axed to retain cash within the business and the company is looking for further savings in the short to medium term.

Sales in the UK, which account for about 20% of the overall turnover, fell by 17% to £2.7 billion reflecting the dire situation in the UK DIY market. While there are hopes of the sector will pick up in the short to medium term there is no doubt that Wolseley has taken a massive hit during this period which will take some time to recover from. Whether or not we could see the company susceptible to a bid from a third party remains to be seen but the sector is nowhere near out of the woods yet. A recovery in the property market will help in the short to medium term but at the moment even this is fairly fragile.

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