Grafton starts New Year on the up

Published:  11 January, 2012

DUBLIN: The Grafton Group this morning released a trading update for the year ending 31 Dec 2011, in which  Group turnover for 2011 was €2.05bn, an increase of 2.5% from €2bn in 2010. Trading conditions in the Group’s markets were difficult during 2011 but there was a firmer tone to turnover in the final two months of the year which benefited from more favourable weather conditions compared to the same period in 2010.

The UK business, accounting for over 70% of Group turnover, benefited from generally stable market conditions and a high exposure to the residential repair maintenance and improvement (RMI) market. Average daily like-for-like UK sterling turnover increased by 4.5% for the year compared to an increase of 4.0% in the ten months to October 2011.

In Ireland, the weaker economy contributed to a fall in Irish Merchanting turnover in 2011 of 6.4% compared to a decline of 7.7% in the ten months to October 2011. Transaction levels held up well in the Irish Retailing business but lower spending on higher value products reduced turnover by 4.7% in the year compared to a decline of 5.7% in the ten months to October 2011.

Average daily like-for-like UK sterling turnover increased by 7.0% in November and December and turnover in the Irish business was marginally ahead in the same period.

The Group’s strategically important market positions, strongly cash generative businesses and reduced cost base provide a very good platform to benefit from a cyclical recovery in its markets and the resources to invest in appropriate development opportunities.

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