British building materials group Wolseley has reported a 30% fall in nine-month profits, in line with its first-half performance. But it said UK markets had slowed sharply in recent weeks.

The world's biggest distributor of plumbing and heating materials, which has been hit hard by a general economic downturn and a weak US housing market in particular, said it would cut a further £70m of costs.

US housing and repairs, maintenance and improvement (RMI) markets continued to soften, and trading had worsened in many European markets, the company said.

Wolseley said its latest round of cost cuts would result in a one-off charge of £50m in the fourth quarter. Group revenue was up 2% in the nine months to April 30.