Plumbing supplies group lifts price 10pc

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Managing Director Heath Sharp said trading in March improved from January and February.

He said more price increases were being implemented, with “average price increases across the group expected to be close to 10% for the full year”.

Shares of Reliance fell from $6.40 in early January to below $4 as margins were squeezed by rising input costs. Soaring energy costs in Europe were also a drag.

The company made a big bet in 2018 on overseas expansion when it spent $1.2 billion to acquire the John Guest business in the UK.

Mr Sharp said on Friday that supply chain constraints had dampened growth in the UK renovation market, but underlying demand there remained strong.

Reliance business sales increased 14.1% to $845 million for the nine months ended March 31, including $70 million in sales from the newly acquired EZ-FLO business purchased in November. Without this acquisition, sales increased by 5%.

Mr Sharp said a “winter freeze” weather event in Texas and surrounding states added about $31 million in additional sales. The addiction benefits when there is a fierce cold snap in the United States due to the extra work that comes with households having to repair pipes and other fittings after the freeze.

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