Building and heating supplies firm Wolseley has reported a better-than-expected start to its financial year driven by strong sales in its North American businesses.
The FTSE 100 Index-listed company, which generates 81% of its business overseas, said US revenue was up 6% like-for-like in the three months to October 31, while revenues in Canada were up 7%.
In the UK, where the business trades as Plumb Center and Build Center, total revenues were down 4%, but like-for-like sales were ahead 5% after the disposal of businesses including Brandon Hire in September.
The strong North American performance offset weaker sales across Europe, to see total group revenues increase by 4%, and trading profit rise 39% to £159 million in the quarter.
Ian Meakins, Wolseley chief executive, said: “Most markets continued to grow in the first quarter and the group’s trading performance was slightly ahead of management expectations.”