UPDATE 1-Wolseley targets more acquisitions after profit rise

Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:30am EDT
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* H1 trading profit up 8.8 pct to 360 mln stg

* H1 dividend up 25 pct to 27.5 pence a share

* Eyes bolt-on acquisitions in U.S., UK, Canada

* Shares up 1.2 percent (Adds CEO and analyst comments, details, shares)

By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - British plumbing supplies group Wolseley is looking to buy more businesses in its core markets of the United States, Britain and Canada, the company said on Tuesday after posting an 8.8 percent rise in first-half trading profit.

Chief Executive Ian Meakins said the firm was aiming to lift market share with so-called "bolt-on" deals to boost its existing business, and expected to close about half of the 300 million pounds ($495 million) of transactions it had under consideration.

"The acquisition pipeline is looking a bit more interesting again," Meakins told Reuters.

"We have a pipeline of around 300 million pounds over the coming period. We expect to convert around half of that, so there are four or five deals in there that are interesting," he added.   Continued...