Wolseley in profit upgrade boost

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Shares in building and heating materials group Wolseley jumped 8% after it said it was set to beat profit expectations.

The firm, which trades as Build Center and Plumb Center in the UK, said most of its markets were continuing to stabilise.

Wolseley said the residential market was expected to improve though the commercial sector was still struggling.

It has suffered after the recession hit the construction industry.

The latest forecast from City analysts was for it to make profits of £374m in the year to 31 July.

However, this is set to be exceeded after operating profit more than doubled in the three months to the end of April, largely thanks to cost-cutting - including axing more than 14,000 jobs worldwide

"Demand across the markets in which we operate remains mixed, though most markets continue to stabilise," said chief executive Ian Meakins said.

Last year, the company raised £1bn by issuing new shares in a rights issue.

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