Merchant sales increase in Ireland

Published:  12 July, 2013

Grafton Group has reported growth at its builders' merchants arm in Ireland this year, for the first time since 2007.

Grafton’s UK merchanting business experienced stronger demand in May and June, with like-for-like revenue 1.7% ahead in the first six months compared with the first half of 2013.

In an interim management statement, Grafton said that average daily like-for-like revenue at its Irish merchanting business, which includes Chadwicks and Heiton Buckley, rose 1% in the first six months of 2013.

Grafton said the business had made competitive gains and grew revenue from its plumbing and heating branch implants and from repair, maintenance and improvement products. Group revenue rose 1.5% in the period to €1.07bn even as Grafton took a €26m hit due to sterling weakness against the euro.

Grafton generates about three quarters of its revenue and profits in the UK. It recently announced that it was pulling a planned sterling bond offer, because interest rate volatility and market uncertainty had influenced investor sentiment and demand.

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