The plumbing products firm added that gross margin was also slightly higher against the comparative year-on-year figure, standing at 29.3% for the three months. It sees a US$356mln trading profit which represents a 17% improvement on the same quarter in 2017.
“Growth was broadly based across all US regions, supported by good market conditions. We also continued to manage gross margins effectively, making further progress,” said John Martin, Ferguson chief executive.
“We generated good growth in Canada and in the UK we continued to focus on executing the restructuring plan.”
During the period it sold the Stark Group unit for US$1.2bn, and, later this month it is due to pay out a special dividend of US$4 per share which equates to US$$1bn (the record date for the shareholder payout was June 8).
Martin added: “The fourth quarter has started well with organic revenue growth in line with the third quarter.
“Given the third quarter outturn, the Group is well positioned for a successful outcome for the year."
At the end of April, the group had net debt of US$260mln, representing a significant reduction from the US$1.46bn at the same point a year earlier.