Building supplies firm Wolseley to shed 2,000 jobs

Plumbing and building supplies firm Wolseley today announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs and close more than 200 branches in the UK and Ireland.

The Reading-based firm, which trades as Plumb Center and Build Center, said the moves reflected its expectations for a further decline in trading. The company also shed 5,050 positions between August and the end of October, mainly in North America.

Wolseley, which operates more than 1,900 branches in the UK and Ireland, said the latest job cuts would be phased over the next few months.





Wolseley's headcount reduction is one of the biggest in recent days, after a raft of UK companies including BT, JCB, truckmaker Leyland, Virgin Media, Yell and GlaxoSmithKline all announced plans to shed labour.

Many more job losses are predicted, with increasingly dire predictions about the jobless total. Business groups are constantly revising their expectations up, with some now believing unemployment will go over three million.

The job cuts at Wolseley's UK and Ireland division are expected to reduce annual costs at the company by £80 million.

The pressure on Wolseley to reduce overheads was highlighted by first quarter figures today, with group trading profits down 30 per cent due to lower profitability at its UK and American operations.

The company said: "Our objective remains to ensure the appropriate sizing of the cost base in line with the expected market environment."



Wolseley said revenues in the UK and Ireland division decreased by about 10 per cent with trading profits down by around 65 per cent in the three months to 31 October.

The company said its building materials brands such as Build Center and Brooks in Ireland continued to be affected by the rapid deterioration in new residential construction.

The company's consumer-focused business Bathstore also reported a significant deterioration in revenues in the first quarter.

However, Wolseley said Plumb Center continued to show resilience, with more than two-thirds of revenues coming from the residential repair and maintenance market.

Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
William Shakespeare's influence on English culture is still strongly felt today, from his plays on stage to words we use everyday
arts
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
News
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Life & Style
On the dogwalk: a poodle on the runway during a Mulberry show in London
fashionThe duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
News
peopleEmma Appleton says photographer said he would shoot her for magazine if she slept with him
Extras
indybest
News
peopleRevealed: Goop.com's losses - and the pay rises
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Director of Consulting - Energy Trading Gas, Power - London

£90000 - £110000 per annum + full Package: Harrington Starr: Director of Cons...

Automation Test Manager (C#, C++, VB.NET, QTP, Management)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Automation Test Manager (C#, C++, VB.NET, QTP, M...

Data Quality Analyst (SQL, Excel, Word, Finance, Access)

£20000 - £26000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Qua...

Graduate Developer/QA - (Java, C++, SQL)

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Graduate Developer/QA - (Java, C+...

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents