Gavin Slark: Grafton is in good shape.

Grafton's new boss will tweak, not remodel

Published:  06 May, 2011

DUBLIN: Gavin Slark, the new chief executive of building materials firm Grafton, told shareholders not to expect a revolution in the business when he formally takes up the role in July.

"In the short to medium-term don't expect any revolutions in terms of the culture of the business," Mr Slark told shareholders in Dublin.

"There's obviously a difference in style between myself and Michael Chadwick. That doesn't mean there's a change in the DNA of the business."

Mr Slark was making his first public appearance yesterday at Grafton Group's last annual general meeting with Michael Chadwick as executive chairman, who is stepping down from the role to become non-executive chairman.

Mr Slark said that despite the "economic trauma" in Ireland and the UK, Grafton is in "remarkably good shape". His immediate priorities will be to improve Grafton's operating margin in its merchanting businesses, keeping costs under control and ensuring strong cashflow so that Grafton could take advantage of investment opportunities "that may or may not come along for the group".

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