Friday 20 October 2017

Grafton Group puts in place a contingency plan for 'Brexit'

Irish-based building materials company Grafton Group, which owns Woodie's DIY, will have a contingency plan in place in case the UK leaves the European Union.
Irish-based building materials company Grafton Group, which owns Woodie's DIY, will have a contingency plan in place in case the UK leaves the European Union.
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Irish-based building materials company Grafton Group, which owns Woodie's DIY, will have a contingency plan in place in case the UK leaves the European Union.

Chief executive Gavin Slark said the Tory victory in the UK's recent general election meant the group would evaluate the possible impact of a 'Brexit' on its business.

"I think we have to just look at each individual business and each individual country and see what the impact could be if the UK did exit. I think the most important thing for us is we've got to focus on the individual businesses rather than necessarily having a large concern about what happens across borders. So we've got plenty of time to look at it and we will look at it," Slark told the Sunday Independent.

Three quarters of Grafton's revenue comes from the UK.

The Conservatives have pledged to hold a referendum on a Brexit by 2017, and analysts have raised concerns that leaving the EU would damage the UK economy.

"It's difficult to speculate on what the impact would be if it happens, from a personal perspective I'm not sure it will happen," Slark said.

"Ireland and the UK are the two biggest parts of our group and the UK is Ireland's biggest trading partner, and almost vice versa.

"There are strong feelings on both sides in the UK, but there isn't a clear direction, I don't think, on which way the referendum will go."

Grafton's annual report shows Slark's pay almost doubled last year, rising to £2.7m (€3.7m) from £1.5m in 2013. His bonus rose from £273,000 to £650,000.

On Tuesday, the group announced a near-7pc revenue jump for the first four months of the year, to almost £700m.

Slark said he expects to see a "steep rate of growth" in Ireland this year as the economy continues to recover. He said growth in the UK will probably be slower as recovery there is more advanced.

Sunday Indo Business

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