* Company to change its name to Ferguson, report in dollars
* Pulling out of Nordic region
* Shares boosted by 25 percent rise in interim profit
(Adds CEO comments, details, background, share movement)
By Esha Vaish
March 28 Heating and plumbing supplier Wolseley
is changing its name to match its U.S. brand of
Ferguson, a business that accounts for 84 percent of its trading
profit, and is also pulling out of the Nordic region.
Chief Executive John Martin said Wolseley, which started
life in 1887 manufacturing machine tools and was involved in
early motor car production, would keep its main market listing
in London where it is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.
The renaming of the parent company, subject to investor
approval, alongside news that Wolseley will switch to reporting
results in dollars reflects its focus on U.S. growth as Britain
and continental Europe remains challenging.
"We have decided to align the group's name with our most
significant brand in our largest market," Martin said.
"We will continue to use the Wolseley name in the UK and
Canada where it has strong local recognition," he added.
Wolseley's shares gained over 8 percent to their highest
since 2007 after the company said trading profit rose 25 percent
to 515 million pounds ($646 million) in the six months to the
end of January.
Martin said Wolseley would make more of its group profit in
the United States over the next five years, as continuing growth
in the residential and commercial markets would push the company
to hire more people and buy more assets there.
"I think we'll become more American over the short term,"
Over the second quarter, U.S. like-for-like revenue growth
accelerated to 6.7 percent year-on-year, the strongest
percentage growth of all of Wolseley's regions.
The Nordic region accounts for only 3 percent of trading
profit and the company said there were few synergies with the
rest of its business.
Martin said the company would negotiate with vendors in the
UK to offset an expected 3-4 percent increase in its cost of
goods sold later this year.
($1 = 0.7974 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise
Heavens and Keith Weir)