Grafton Group plc, the international builders merchanting and DIY Group, has issued its trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018 in advance of the announcement of its Final Results for 2018 on 28 February 2019.
Group revenue for 2018 was £2.95 billion, an increase of 8.7% from £2.72 billion in 2017. Revenue growth in constant currency was 8.4% and average daily like-for-like revenue increased by 4.3%. As expected, the rate of growth moderated in November and December following above trend growth in September and October.
With a good performance over the year, the Group anticipates reporting EBITA for 2018 slightly ahead of the top end of analyst expectations*.
UK daily like-for-like revenue growth for the three months to the end of December last year was an increase of 3.4% and the total revenue growth in that time at 7.7%. In Ireland average daily like-for-like revenue growth for the three months to the end of December 2018 was 9.8% and total revenue was 8.4%.
As part of our overall strategy to improve returns, the Group has said it has disposed of two small non-core UK businesses which contributed revenue of £40.0 million and EBITA of circa £1.4 million in 2018. Online Home Retail Limited completed a successful management buyout (MBO) of www.plumbworld.co.uk, from Grafton Group plc this month.
Chief executive officer of Grafton Group plc, Gavin Slark commented today: "We are pleased with the strong performance over the year, with contributions from both organic growth and the Leyland SDM acquisition. The Group continues to benefit from its exposure to multiple geographies and its diverse customer base. The Group’s cash generative businesses, strong balance sheet and low level of net debt support our development strategy for the year ahead."
*Grafton compiled analyst forecasts show consensus EBITA for 2018 of £185.1m with the top end of the range £188.5m.