UK and Irish builders merchant chain Grafton has seen steady improvement in sales according to an interim management statement released this week.
Grafton, which owns UK merchant Grafton Merchanting GB, saw group turnover to the end of October 2010 rise to €1.70 billion, compared with the €1.69 billion for the same period last year. It’s an improvement on the first half when sales fell 1%.
Like for like sales have increased consistently since February 2010. Group turnover in the first three months was €444 million (2009: €470 million), in Quarter 2 it was €535 million (2009: €520 million) and in Quarter 3, €546 million (2009: €522 million).
UK merchanting sales for the year to the end of October were up 6%, compared to 5% to the end of June. While Irish merchanting sales continued to fall, the rate of decline has lessened as the year progressed.
Profits, the company said, were “well ahead” in the third quarter, wiuth the trend continuing into the fourth quarter. UK merchanting profits made “significant improvement” in UK profits and the Irish business returned to breakeven.
The company said that “a good base” had been established from which renewed growth in earnings can be generated over the coming years as market conditions normalise.