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Year end brings modest relief for Woodies's DIY

Published: 10 January 2013
The fortunes of struggling Irish retail chain Woodie's DIY saw a slight reversal towards the end of last year.
Year end brings modest relief for Woodies's DIY
In a trading statement for the year ended December 31 2012, owner Grafton Group said there had been "a moderation in the rate of decline in Irish merchanting and retailing turnover".

As reported on diyweek.net last November, in the 10 months to October Woodie's turnover slumped by 10.1%. But Grafton says that for the year as a whole turnover in its Irish retail business had declined by just 9.2% and by half this rate in November and December.

Total 2012 revenue for the builders merchant and DIY group, which has operations across Ireland, the UK and Belgium, was around €2.17bn, up 5.8% from €2.05bn in 2011.

Trading generally ended the year on a stronger note. UK merchanting turnover increased by 3.1% over the year, with like-for-like sales up 1.7%, including growth of 3.7% in November and December. Irish merchanting turnover dropped 8.5% for the year, but the rate of decline eased to 2.7% in the November/December period.

Grafton says it expects that operating profit (before restructuring costs and amortisation of intangibles) for 2012 will exceed market expectations and be not less than €70m (2011: €56.9 million). This reflects the better trading in the final months of the year and what it calls "the relentless emphasis on improving performance through self-help measures against the backdrop of difficult market conditions".

It said the immediate outlook for demand in the group's markets "remains challenging, and the timing and extent of any recovery is unclear".

The preliminary results for 2012 are expected to be announced on March 7.

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