Building supplies group Travis Perkins says it achieved "strong" results in 2010, but has warned trading conditions will remain difficult in 2011.
Pre-tax profits at the builders' merchant fell 7.5% to £196.8m in 2010.
However, stripping out one-off factors, including the costs of its purchase of plumbing supplies firm BSS, underlying profits rose 20% to £216.7m.
The firm said sales were strong so far in 2011, although in January last year they had been hit by the snow.
Like-for-like sales in January were up 22% in its core merchanting business, 8% up at BSS and 12% higher in its retail business, the firm said.
"Despite starting the year well we expect conditions for the next 12 months to remain difficult," Travis Perkins said.
"The merchanting market fell by over 30% from its peak in 2008 and although activity has picked up a little, from a longer term perspective, activity levels are currently around 20% below their peak.
"Although we will probably see some turbulence in short term trends, we expect activity levels to continue their gradual recovery. In contrast, we expect the retail market to continue to be soft."