July 24, 2020 / 7:02 AM / 22 days ago

Ferguson's U.S. sales for May-July recover after April drop

(Reuters) - Sales at Ferguson’s (FERG.L) main U.S. operations fell 9% year-on-year in April, recovering to fall by just 0.6% for the May to July period as the plumbing supplier’s outlets quickly got back online following coronavirus shutdowns.

Ferguson, which has reduced spending on buybacks, dividends and staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said it continues to reduce costs to help cope with the impact of the virus.

“We continue to encourage customers to use our e-commerce tools where possible and customer adoption rates have been very strong during the pandemic,” it said.

Shares were up 1.5% in early trade.

The London-listed company, which would demerge its UK business, said non-ongoing UK sales had tumbled 60% in April and 29% in May-July.

Ferguson, previously known as Wolseley, sells a range of commercial and residential plumbing supplies, industrial products, as well as kitchen and bath fittings, while also doing maintenance and repair work.

The company had said in April it would seek shareholder approval for an additional share listing in the United States, once stock markets calm down but analysts have said it is unlikely to happen this year.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Vinay Dwivedi

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