Sunday 18 March 2018

Grafton climbs as UK ‘green shoots’ help stabilize sales

Louisa Fahy

Grafton Group rose in Dublin trading after the builders’ merchant said sales continued to stabilize in the second half of the year, helped by an improvement at its UK business.

Full-year sales declined 26pc to about €1.98bn, in line with analysts’ estimates, the company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. The stock rose as much as 5.1pc.

Record-low interest rates and signs the economy is emerging from the recession are spurring demand for homes in the UK, which accounts more than two thirds of Grafton’s sales.

Same-outlet sales in the UK declined 7pc in the second half of the year, excluding currency swings, compared with an 18pc fall in the first half, the statement shows.

“‘Green shoots’ evident in key UK indicators such as increased mortgage lending, housing transactions, house building and some house price inflation are being reflected in improving sales across our UK businesses,” Grafton said in the statement.

UK house prices rose for an eighth month in December, Nationwide Building Society said last month.

Grafton climbed as much as 16 cents to €3.30 and traded at that level at 8:24am.


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