Grafton turnover stable

Published:  11 November, 2009

DUBLIN: Grafton Group turnover for the year ending October fell 28% to €1.686bn.

Trading conditions remain "very challenging" but turnover is stabilising, said the company in its interim statement issued today.

First quarter group turnover was €470m, Q2 €520m and Q3 €522m.

Like-for-like sales per working day in Grafton's UK businesses in October were down 4% compared to minus 18% in the first half. In Ireland, like-for-like sales per working day in October were down 30% compared to minus 37% for the six months to 30th June 2009.

Merchanting turnover was down 21% and DIY turnover down 19% to the end of October. This compares to 24% and 18% respectively at the half-year period. Manufacturing was down 45% against 49% at the half year.

"Leading macro economic indicators in the sector in the UK (increases in; housing starts, housing transactions, mortgage lending and house prices) continue to improve. Volumes have increased in dry mortar sales which are mainly exposed to the new housing sector. Increases in activity should be reflected in improving trading levels in Grafton's UK merchanting business during 2010," the company said.

"The extensive rationalisation and integration programme is well advanced and the benefit of cost reductions is being reflected across the group. The group is cash generative and net debt levels continue to be reduced," the company said.

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