Grafton clobbered by house collapse
BUILDERS merchanting and DIY group Grafton demonstrated the full impact of the collapse in the Irish housing market when it announced a 79 per cent fall in 2009 pre-tax profits to just €13.6m last week.
However, chairman Michael Chadwick sounded a cautiously optimistic note pointing out that second-half sales last year were comparable with those recorded in the first half of the year, indicating that the sales decline had bottomed out. Grafton also managed to reduce its debts from €435m to €322m.
At the current €2.95 share price, Grafton still has a market value of €680m.
With the Irish housing market likely to stay in the deep freeze for some years to come, and the UK market also showing signs of going on the blink, that's still too dear.