Wolseley to close 86 U.S. branches and cut 3,000 jobs

(L-R) Chief Financial Officer, Steve Webster and Group Chief Executive, Chip Hornsby are pictured in a Pipe Center branch in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Handout

LONDON (Reuters) - Wolseley WOS.L said on Thursday it planned to restructure its loss-making U.S. building materials business by closing branches, leaving some states and cutting another 3,000 jobs.

The company, which says it is the world’s largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products, will close 86 branches generating a quarter of the Stock Building Supply unit’s revenue, exit 16 markets in six states and reduce its headcount to 8,700.

Including the latest job cuts, Stock Building Supply has shed 55 percent of its staff since the peak of the U.S. housing market in 2006.

The unit posted a trading loss of $246 million (151 million pounds) in the year ended July 31.

Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Will Waterman