Further 1,300 positions to be eliminated at Stock, Ferguson

Wolseley, the United Kingdom-based parent of Stock Building Supply, said today 1,300 more positions would be eliminated at Stock and the company’s U.S.-based Ferguson division, following a round of 1,500 layoffs in the prior fiscal quarter.

Wolseley noted it already had made a 3,500 headcount reduction over the last year in its U.S. operations. Wolseley’s U.S. results have been affected by the decline in the U.S. housing market, as well as falling consumer confidence and a weakening U.S. dollar, the company said.

“Stock’s revenue is down by 25 percent, principally reflecting a 22 percent decline in organic sales volumes,” the company said in a statement issued prior to its annual meeting of investors, held today. “The effect of previous branch closures and price fluctuations in lumber and panels ... reduced revenue by around 1 percent. Stock is now cumulatively reporting a trading loss for the three month period following losses in September and October.”

At its headquarters, Wolseley said it is eliminating the positions of chief development officer, held by Adrian Barden, and chief operations officer, held by Larry Stoddard, in an attempt to “streamline central management.” The goal of the streamlining effort is to help “focus attention on specific opportunities within each continent and to accelerate decision-making in response to local market conditions,” the company said.

Headcount reductions at the company’s two U.S. divisions have accounted for approximately one-third of Stock’s work force and 10 percent of Ferguson’s.

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