Builders and plumbers merchant chain Grafton Group plc has seen both turnover and profits recovering, according to today’s trading update for the six months ended June 30 2010.
The group, whose UK merchanting interests operate as Grafton Merchanting GB – which includes the Buildbase, Plumbase and Jacksons brands – and Selco, saw turnover of €980 million, marginally lower than turnover of €990 million in the first half of 2009.
Group operating profitability in the period was ahead of last year, with profits recovering strongly in the second quarter.
In constant currency terms sales growth in Q2 was 1% after a decline in Q1 of 7%. Like for like UK merchanting sales were down 2% in Q1 and rose 4% in Q2, as the new housing market strengthened.
Irish merchanting sales continue to decline with falls of 22% in Q1 and 10 per cent in Q2.
The Group’s financial position continues to be strong with good liquidity and substantial cash flow from operations.
The refinancing of the Group’s debt is progressing satisfactorily and on schedule. It is anticipated that new arrangements will come into effect in the third quarter.
The Group expects to build on the progress made in the first half in the months ahead.