In a trading statement issued today, builders merchants Grafton Group, who operate in both the UK and Ireland, have announced a growth in turnover of 12.5%.
The trading update, for the half year ended 30 June 2007, shows group turnover for the period was €1.6 billion, an increase of 12.5% the same period in 2006.
And, said the company, “the group expects strong double-digit earnings growth for the period driven by improving returns in the UK and by an ongoing good performance in the context of slower growth in the Irish merchanting market.”
These improved conditions in the UK market in the second half of 2006 have continued into 2007, said the company. However, growth in Ireland has been somewhat slower, due in part to “a moderation in the level of new residential construction activity in Ireland”.
The group, which operates under several brand names including Buildbase and Plumbase, completed six acquisitions in the six-month period, at a cost of about €42 million and opened 10 new branches. Of these, five acquisitions with 21 branches were completed in the UK and one branch was acquired in Ireland. The acquired businesses have annual sales of about €60 million.