Grafton Group's retailing division, which includes Irish retailer Woodie's DIY, has recorded a growth in revenue of 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Woodie's traded strongly through the year benefitting from the strong economy, new and extended product ranges and store upgrades. The uplift in sales was said to be influenced by "good demand across all product ranges, including the seasonally-important Christmas category which typically accounts for a high proportion of revenue", the group said.
Woodie's is Ireland's largest DIY chain, trading from 35 stores nationally.
The latest figures were posted in Grafton Group's trading update for the year ended December 31, 2017 in advance of the announcement of its Final Results for 2017 on March 1.
Within its UK merchanting division, average daily like-for-like revenue growth softened, "as anticipated," in the fourth quarter against the backdrop of strong growth in the final quarter of 2016. Trading conditions in the residential RMI market were mixed and affected by general economic and household uncertainty and a competitive pricing environment.
The opening of branches in Solihull and Hayes in December increased the Selco branch network to 59 in a year that saw significant growth in market coverage with the opening of twelve new branches.
The Group's merchanting business in Ireland completed its fourth successive year of double-digit like-for-like revenue growth with an increase of 16.2% in, what was described as "a favourable economic and construction market" that continues to exhibit good growth prospects. Demand was driven by growth in the residential RMI market and recovery in house building from a low base that is expected to gain momentum in the current year.
The company reports that the year on a strong note.