Stock reports $60 million loss

Stock Building Supply, the LBM industry’s second largest chain of lumberyards, posted a $60 million loss for its last fiscal quarter, which ended on Oct. 31, 2008. Revenues were down by approximately 20 percent, reflecting a similar decline in same-stores sales volumes.

Stock’s financial report was issued by its London-based parent company, Wolseley, whose own results have been hampered by the performance of its U.S.-based building materials division. But Wolseley’s first-quarter 2008 results -- the company operates on an August-to-July fiscal year -- were also affected by a deteriorating market in the United Kingdom and the Nordic regions, it said.

Wolseley reported a 2-percent increase in overall revenues and a 30-percent drop in profits. The company will undertake further restructuring actions, it said, reducing head count by 2,300 people and closing or consolidating at least 200 branches. The majority of these will take place in the United Kingdom, with some reductions in Denmark.

Amajor downsizing at Stock involving 86 branches and 3,000 workers was announced on Oct. 23 and should be completed by the end of November 2008, the company said. Annualized savings are projected to be $81 million.

Ferguson, Wolseley’s wholesale plumbing and HVAC business in the United States, performed well in the last quarter, according to the company. But given the expected decline in commercial and industrial construction in the early 2009, Wolseley reduced Ferguson’s head count by 1,110 workers and closed 50 branches during the past quarter. These actions are expected to save $29 million a year.

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