Wolseley to axe up to 800 jobs

File photo of a warehouse at the Wolseley Center in Ripon, North Yorkshire, as the Plumb Center owner is set to axe up to 800 jobs as part of a restructuring that will see it shut 80 branches and a distribution centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 27, 2016  Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
File photo of a warehouse at the Wolseley Center in Ripon, North Yorkshire, as the Plumb Center owner is set to axe up to 800 jobs as part of a restructuring that will see it shut 80 branches and a distribution centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 27, 2016 Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Plumb Center owner Wolseley is set to axe up to 800 jobs as part of a restructuring that will see it shut 80 branches and a distribution centre.

The shake-up, which will cost the firm £100 million, comes amid a challenging period in the UK, where it has seen a sharp slowdown in growth.

Wolseley said today: “The closure of around 80 branches and one distribution centre is expected to lead to up to 800 job losses, the impact of which we will minimise through redeployment and attrition as far as possible.

“The programme is subject to consultation which will commence shortly and is expected to take 90 days.”

The group employs 6,000 people in the UK and operates across 750 branches.

The firm said that in the UK, which accounts for 8% of its profits, the repair, maintenance and improvement markets had declined and growth was “weak” as it flagged a challenging environment.

Wolseley said the restructuring, the result of a review, is expected to generate £25 million to £30 million of annual cost savings when complete.

The group made the announcement alongside full-year results, which saw overall revenues rise 4.2% at constant exchange rates to £14.4 billion. Pre-tax profit rose from £508 million to £727 million, driven by the US, where it operates Ferguson and where the bulk of its business lies.

Wolseley employs around 340 staff at its base in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

It is understood that Wolseley plans to keep its offices in Leamington Spa and Ripon, and the bulk of the job cuts will be made in the branch network.

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