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Rebound in UK pushes up Grafton revenues

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Revenue at building materials firm Grafton Group rose 10.1pc to £1.76bn (€2.2bn) in the 10 months to the end of October as it continued to benefit from an improved UK market.

Britain accounts for about 75pc of total sales, while in Ireland Grafton operates Woodies DIY, Atlantic Homecare, Chadwicks and the Heiton chains.

Grafton's merchanting business accounts for 90pc of revenue. It said volume growth in the division's UK business continued to be driven by an ongoing recovery in the residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) segment, and in the new housing market.

But improved economic activity in Ireland has also filtered through to its merchanting arm here.

Grafton said that a "marked" improvement in the unit's business in Ireland had continued during the four months to the end of October. It noted that the better performance has been primarily because the business is coming off such a low base in RMI and home building following the downturn.

On a constant currency basis, Grafton's revenue in the Irish merchanting division rose 11.7pc in the 10 months to the end of October, but was up 6.1pc in sterling terms.

Irish Independent