Grafton Group have seen an 8% fall in turnover for the first four months of 2008 compared with last year.
According to an interim management statement issued by the group this morning, the UK performance was actually much better than this, seeing a 10% increase in sterling in the four months to April 30.
However, The Irish business didn’t fare so well, showing a 16% drop in sales for the period. The group attributes this to ‘the more subdued retail environment and the absence of the very favourable weather that stimulated exceptionally strong demand in March and April 2007.’
The company also pointed to the impact of 12% decline in sterling against the euro and the part that played in the overall dip in sales.
Looking forward the group expect the UK economy to ‘moderate’ and say the RMI market ‘is likely to become more challenging as the year develops’.
Five acquisitions, trading from 11 branches, were completed in the period.