June 19, 2018 / 6:58 AM / 8 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Ferguson's profit rises 17.1 pct, led by U.S. residential market

(Corrects currency to U.S. dollars from pounds in paragraph nine and 10)

June 19 (Reuters) - Ferguson Plc said on Tuesday it posted a 17.1 percent rise in quarterly profit, as the world's largest distributor of plumbing and heating products benefited from robust demand in U.S. residential and commercial markets.

Ferguson, which serves about a million customers, has been investing more in the United States, which accounts for 90 percent of its trading profit. The company faced headwinds in the first half of the year due to lower commodity prices and weaker industrial markets.

Previously known as Wolseley Plc, the company changed its name to Ferguson to reflect the size and importance of its U.S. operations.

Revenue from the U.S. business rose 11.5 percent, on a constant currency basis, with residential demand supporting growth across all regions, Ferguson said.

U.S commercial markets, which had lower growth than residential, also remained good and industrial markets continued to recover strongly, Ferguson added.

The company said the current quarter had started well with organic revenue growth in line with the third quarter.

Ferguson is also in the midst of transforming its UK business, looking at boosting profits and service to customers after it warned of tough market conditions in the country.

The company said it is still focused on the plan.

Ferguson's profit rose to $356 million in the three months ended April 30 from $304 million, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $5.1 billion in the quarter. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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