Industry & Business

Grafton Group reports postive start to trading year

Grafton Group reports postive start to trading year

May 10
16:44 2016

download (1)UK and Ireland-based building materials group Grafton has reported a positive start to its trading year with group revenue for the first four months up 13.2% to £790m.

The builders merchanting and DIY group said it expects these trends to continue throughout the remainder of the year.

However, its Belgian business saw difficult trading conditions due to weak economic fundamentals and the terrorist attacks in March which resulted in lower activity in the merchanting market.

Grafton said its Irish merchanting revenues grew by 17% in the four  months to April, while its UK merchanting revenues increased by 9% and its Dutch revenues rose by 14%. Merchanting now makes up 91% of its group revenue.

On Ireland, it noted that the ongoing improvement in economic and market conditions contributed to the double digit growth.

“Increased spending on residential RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) projects continued to generate strong volume growth.

The early stage recovery in the house building, infrastructure and commercial property markets also contributed to the favourable trading conditions,” the company added.

Revenues rose by 8% at its retailing division, which makes up 7% of total group revenue.

The company said that its Woodies DIY business was boosted by increased consumer spending in the first quarter of the year. But April saw lower demand for seasonal outdoor products, which usually accounts for a high proportion of revenue in the month.

Grafton’s CEO Gavin Slark said the company was positive about its prospects and expect the recent trends in its Irish and Dutch markets to continue.

“Strong fundamentals should support activity in the UK housing and RMI markets, although uncertainty over the outcome of the referendum on continued membership of the EU appears to be having a bearing on current activity levels,” he added.

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