Wednesday 18 September 2019

Sharp rise in Irish business boosts sales, profits at Woodies DIY owner Grafton Group

Gavin Slark, chief executive of Grafton Group. Photo: El Keegan
Gavin Slark, chief executive of Grafton Group. Photo: El Keegan
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A sharp rise in its Irish business has boosted sales and profits at Woodies DIY owner Grafton Group.

In the first half of this year revenue across the Dublin listed business was up 2pc to £1.4bn, with its Irish retail arm up almost 17pc within that. Operating profit before property tax beat analyst estimates at £99.2m.

The group reported strong organic growth in its Merchanting and Retailing businesses in Ireland and good growth in Netherlands.

It announced the sale of a small Belgian unit.

Completion of the 51 branch Polvo acquisition on 1 July 2019 was a significant milestone in the strategic development of the Netherlands business and consolidates its leadership position in the market where it now trades from 113 branches, Grafton said.

Its Belgium builders merchanting business increased revenue and profitability in the period and accounted for three per cent of  revenue and 0.4pc of operating profit in the half year, and had been put up for sale.

"We conducted a strategic review of our operations in Belgium in the context of the Group’s allocation of capital and its future growth prospects. This resulted in a decision to divest and we initiated a process to sell the business."

"Today we announce that the Group has entered into a conditional agreement for the sale of the business which is expected to complete later this year."

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