Grafton Group profit up 22%
Published:  31 August, 2011

DUBLIN: Grafton Group reported merchanting operating profit up by 22% to Û33.4m in its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2011.

Pre-tax profits rose 13% Û15.1m and revenues increased by 3% to Û1,008m while adjusted operating profits jumped by 40% to Û26.2m. An interim dividend of 2.75cent per share is approved, 10% up on last year.

Gavin Slark, chief executive said: "The group is well placed to deal with the continued difficult trading conditions in our core markets. A number of self help initiatives have been identified that will enable us to improve our performance in margins, costs control and cash generation.

"This leaves us in a strong position to take advantage of any economic upturn or expansion opportunities," Slark said in a statement.

UK turnover and profits increased with its UK operating margin improving to 4.5%. In Ireland, cost reductions improved returns in a weak market the company said in a statement.

Grafton reports that 72% of its group turnover is generated in the UK, slightly up on 2010 at 71%. Its UK turnover is up 5% while that in the Republic of Ireland is down 6%. Belgium turnover is up 7% on a like for like basis.

Grafton is the UK's third largest merchant with 10% market share after market leader Travis Perkins with 23% (excluding Wickes) and Wolseley at 19% share. Jewson is fourth with 18% share of the £12bn plus merchant market.

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