Grafton Group plc, parent company to DIY chain Woodies, has released its half year report for the six months ended 30 June 2018, reporting an "excellent performance by Woodie's retailing".
Revenue was reported with an increase of 9% to £1.45 billion, with an 8% increase in constant currency.
The company said Woodie’s DIY in Ireland celebrated its 30th anniversary recording exceptional growth in revenue and profitability with a particularly strong performance from seasonal products. The operating profit margin increased by 190 basis points to 7.5%.
There has been continued investment to support future profit growth with £120.1 million spend on Leyland SDM acquisition and capital projects. Grafton Group plc said the UK merchanting business strengthened its market position through revenue growth in new Selco branches and the acquisition of Leyland SDM in February. Despite relatively flat underlying activity in the market, the overall business increased profitability from realising self-help benefits complemented by a good contribution from the Leyland SDM acquisition.
A 14% increase was reported in dividend in line with progressive dividend policy.
The results reported strong organic growth in Irish and Netherlands merchanting, the market leading merchanting business in Ireland delivered a strong performance in a favourable market that saw house building increase from a low base and non-residential construction gain momentum.
Strong growth in profitability in the Netherlands specialist merchanting business resulted from good like-for-like revenue growth, supported by positive market conditions, and profit initiatives in the established Isero and Gunters en Meuser businesses.
Chief executive officer, Gavin Slark commented: "We are pleased to report a strong first half performance across the Group with all segments reporting double digit growth in profitability. Excellent organic growth in key markets has been complemented by the positive impact of self-help measures and development activity. The geographic diversity of our operations continues to be an important strength of the Group. We made further progress towards our medium term financial objectives and invested £120 million on the Leyland SDM acquisition and capital projects to support future growth in profitability."
Grafton Group plc said the outcome for the half year leaves the Group well placed to meet our expectations for the full year.