Grafton Group’s latest trading update recorded a 4.6% uplift for the Irish DIY chain over the past four months, as parent firm remains on track to deliver full-year expectations.
Woodie’s, the largest DIY retailer in Ireland, had a strong first half, with like-for-like sales up 13.4% in constant currency. The 35-strong chain is already up 9.9% for the year so far, with total revenue up 11% in Sterling, and Grafton remains confident the business will end on a high.
Grafton’s UK merchanting operations saw like-for-like (LFL) sales climb 4.2% in constant currency for the four months ended October 31 – a performance that was consistent with Grafton’s expectations but softer than that of the Irish merchanting business, where trading was up 10%.
The UK merchant business, which includes Selco, Buildbase, Plumbase and Leyland SDM was up 2.7% LFL in constant currency for the year to date, with total sales up 8.1% in Sterling, whilst its Irish counterpart, where Grafton has a clear leadership position, was up 7.8% LFL and saw a total revenue growth of 10.2% in Sterling.
Reporting its half-year results in August, Grafton said its UK merchanting business had strengthened its market position through revenue growth in new Selco branches, as well as a strong contribution from Leyland SDM, which the business acquired for £82.4million in February.
Grafton Group plc CEO Gavin Slark said of today’s trading update: “Trading in the UK has been consistent with our expectations at the time of the Interim Results. The Group has benefitted from its exposure to multiple geographic markets and saw its businesses in Ireland and the Netherlands perform well. Following a good first half performance, overall trading in the last four months has underpinned our confidence that we will deliver our expectations for the full year.”
Like-for-like Group revenue for the four-month trading period – which includes its European operations in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as its manufacturing arm – increased by 5.5% and total revenue increased over the same period by 10.2%.
Group revenue for the 10 months to October 31 increased by 9.3% to £2.5billion (10 months to October 31, 2017: £2.3billion) and by 8.9% in constant currency. LFL Group revenue increased by 4.4%.