Building: Good news for Grafton as revenue up to €1.7bn

BUILDING materials group Grafton has recorded a small chink of light in its group revenues -- rising from €1.69bn to €1.7bn.

The company said its trading performance had made steady progress during the year as it saw "reasonably consistent" like for like sales since February.

It said that while Irish merchanting sales continued to fall, the rate of decline also continued to ease as the year progressed.

Grafton's Irish retailing businesses recorded a fall in sales of 7pc in the year to October, similar to the fall in the first half of the year, while group manufacturing sales were down 3pc in the year to October, compared to a fall of 7pc in the first half of 2010.

The group said that its financial position remained strong with good liquidity and positive cash flows from operations.

"A good base has been established from which renewed growth in earnings can be generated over the coming years as market conditions normalise," management added.