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Wolseley WOS has benefited enormously from the slump in sterling created by the UK government’s mismanagement of both the economy and the pound. Revenue for the quarter to the 30th April rose by 4.6% at constant exchange rates or 6.6% on a like for like basis. Exchange rate movements alone increased revenue by £423m and trading profit by £29m. during the quarter. Exchange rates have now become a major factor in Wolseley’s finances. Over the first nine months of the year markets in the UK remained weak and UK trading profit fell by 7.9%.
Barclays BARC has today been charged with fraud by the Serious Fraud Office. Two charges allege a conspiracy to defraud between the bank and some of its former senior officers and employees whilst the second charge relates to an allegation of unlawful financial assistance relating to a $3bn loan. I shall of course make no comment.
RWS holdings RWS with a 39.6% rise in adjusted profit before tax, the company claims an extremely strong performance making the half year to the 31st March outstanding. Sales rose by 35% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 13% to 1.3p per share. Trading in the first two months of the second half has continued in line with the first half’s enhanced performance.
Aukett Swanke Group AUK suffered more misery in the half year to the 31st March with revenue down by 9% and and a loss of £358,000. Continuing market weakness and claims are blamed for the companies problems which have hampered its development. Over the past year the share price has almost halved to yesterdays 2.5p at the close. The company’s only boast is that it has maintained its liquidity.