Stock Building Supply reports loss in half-year results

Stock Building Supply, the second largest pro dealer in the United States, reported $89 million in losses for the six-month period ended Jan. 31. This compares to profits of $81 million for the same period a year ago.

Revenues were reported at $1.79 billion, down 25.7 percent from sales of $2.4 billion during the comparable period last year.

As part of cost-cutting moves by parent company Wolseley, Stock closed 22 branches during the six-month period, ending with 286 locations. In July 2007, the pro dealer operated 308 outlets. Stock also reduced its head count during the period by 1,750.

Ferguson, also owned by U.K.-based Wolseley, turned in a stronger performance, with revenues rising 3.2 percent to $5.5 billion. Profits were up by 4.9 percent to $350 million. In response to the slowing residential market in the first half of its fiscal year, Ferguson reduced its head count by 1,575, approximately 6 percent of its total employees.

Revenues for Wolseley Canada increased by 3.7 percent to C$684 million. Profits were lower, however, with a 15 percent drop, from C$41 million a year ago to C$35 million in the current period.

Overall, Wolseley’s revenues increased 2 percent to approximately $15.8 billion during the six-month period. But profits dropped 23 percent to approximately $595 million, which the company attributed to losses posted by Stock.

Wolseley is a worldwide distributor of plumbing and heating supplies and building materials, with operations in 27 countries.

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