Business Irish

Saturday 23 June 2018

Revenues increase to £2.7bn at Grafton

Grafton Group chief executive Gavin Slark
Grafton Group chief executive Gavin Slark
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Revenues at building merchanting and DIY group Grafton rose by almost 7pc to £2.7bn (€3bn) in 2017.

In a trading update issued today, the group said that it had experienced an improvement in profitability across all its geographies.

In Ireland the group saw revenues from its merchanting increase 9pc on a constant currency basis during the 12 month period, due to favourable economic and construction market conditions that continue to exhibit good growth prospects.

The demand in Ireland was driven by growth in the residential market and the recovery in house building.

While in the UK the group experienced an increase in revenues of almost 5pc on a constant currency basis in its merchanting business, Grafton said that trading conditions in the residential market in the UK were mixed, and affected by general economic and household uncertainty and a competitive pricing environment.

"We are pleased with the progress made across the Group during 2017 which reflects the benefits of self-help and strategic initiatives to grow the business,” Gavin Slark, CEO of Grafton Group, said.

“We enter the new year in a favourable position well placed to implement our growth strategy supported by good cash flow from operations, a strong balance sheet and low net debt".

The group, whose brands include Chadwicks, said that it anticipates reporting 2017 earnings before interest, taxation, and amortisation slightly ahead of consensus forecasts.

The company’s retail division, which accounts for 6pc of group revenue, increased by 7.4pc on a constant currency basis.

In Ireland the Woodie's business traded strongly through the year, benefiting from the strong economy, new and extended product ranges and store upgrades.

Revenue growth in the retail segment in the fourth quarter was influenced by good demand across all product ranges including the seasonally important Christmas category which typically accounts for a high proportion of revenue, the company said.

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