Grafton expects profit growth in 2011

Published:  04 March, 2011

DUBLIN: Grafton Group expects profit to improve this year, with UK housing recovery boosting demand.



Grafton has reported its UK sales up 8% in the first two months of the year, Michael Chadwick, chairman said the UK market has started to recover and "We would be optimistic that our Irish merchanting and retailing businesses can stay profitable."

Grafton reported an 88% rise in pre-tax profits to €25.6m for the 12 months to the end of December. Revenue increased by 1% €2bn and that its net debt fell from €322m to €255m last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and other charges came to €95m last year, up from €74.1m a year earlier.

Mr Chadwick said: "The group's strong financial position and lower cost base leave it well placed to benefit from improvements in its markets. The UK economy appears to be in a modest growth phase and activity in our sector has recovered from historically low levels. The outlook for Ireland remains unpredictable. Group turnover for the first two months of 2011 is encouraging with a continuation of like for like sales growth in the UK and signs of stabilisation in Irish turnover. We expect further improvement in profit as markets recover."

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