Warm weather boosts business for Woodies owner Grafton

Revenue rises 8 per cent in first six months of 2018

Gavin Slark chief executive of GraftonGroup. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The hot weather has led to booming business for builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton, with revenue up 8 per cent in the first half of the year.

In a trading update, the company, which owns the Woodies brand in Ireland, among others, said the warm weather had benefited the businesses.

"The very cold conditions experienced in March and April have been followed by a hot and dry May and June which has benefited a number of businesses, particularly Woodie's," chief executive Gavin Slark said.

Total revenue as of June 30th was £1.45 billion (€1.64 billion), 7.9 per cent higher on a constant currency basis. That compared with £1.33 billion in the same period a year earlier.


Like for like revenue was up 3.8 per cent.

In Ireland, merchanting revenue rose 7.6 per cent on a constant currency basis, and 10 per cent in sterling. The Netherlands showed the strongest rate of growth, with merchanting revenue up 18.8 per cent on a constant currency basis, and 21.4 per cent in sterling. The UK saw revenue rise 6.7 per cent.

Revenue from the company’s retailing business increased by 13.4 per cent, with manufacturing revenue up 21 per cent.

Grafton's brands include Chadwicks, Heiton Buckley and Woodie's in Ireland; Selco, Buildbase, Plumbase, Leyland SDM, MacBlair and CPI EuroMix in the UK; Isero and Gunters en Meuser in the Netherlands and YouBuild and MPRO in Belgium. It has more than 12,500 employees.

Mr Slark said the company was pleased with the group’s performance. “In the UK, the group’s growth has been influenced by the Selco store opening programme and the acquisition of Leyland SDM in February, where we are pleased with progress to date,” said Mr Slark. “Our businesses in Ireland and the Netherlands continue to perform well. We enter the second half well placed to deliver our expectations for the financial year.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist