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Merchanting sales improve for Grafton in 2010

Published: 7 January 2011
Group reports 3% increase in merchanting sales for the year, while its DIY retailing business saw a 7% decline.
Merchanting sales improve for Grafton in 2010
After a drop in sales in Q1, Grafton's group turnover saw modest growth for the rest of the year, reaching €2bn by December 31, 2010, compared with the €1.98bn achieved in 2009.

Sales in the second half rose 3% to €1.02bn, despite the negative impact of severe weather in November and December.

Group merchanting turnover continued to improve, reporting an increase of 3% for the year. UK merchanting, which includes the Buildbase, Plumbase and Selco brands, was the star of the show, up 7% on the €1.32bn achieved last year. Meanwhile, declines in Irish merchanting slowed slightly, with a 7% decline in the second half of the year, compared with a 16% drop in H1.

The retailing side of the business, which includes Woodie's DIY and Atlantic Homecare in Ireland, saw sales fall 7% in 2010, while turnover in Grafton's manufacturing division dropped 4%.

In the trading update issued today, the group said of its annual results: "Grafton's financial position remains strong with good liquidity and positive cash flows from operations. The improvement in operating profitability evident in the first half has progressed strongly into the second half. The group is well positioned for continuing growth in earnings as its markets recover."

Grafton has also reached an outline agreement with Travis Perkins to acquire 10 of its plumbing and heating branches in England and Wales - nine of which currently trade as PTS, while the other operates as City Plumbing Supplies. The deal is subject to formal OFT approval.

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