Grafton Group reports positive start to the year

Full-year operating profit to be between 15 and 20 per cent ahead of consensus forecasts

Grafton Group has reported revenue growth ahead of expectations for March and April with turnover up 32.9 per cent for the year-to-date.

The builders merchants and DIY retailer, which owns Woodie's said revenues were up 13 per cent in the Republic from January to April 18th. In Britain, turnover was 35.2 per cent higher and was up 3.9 per cent in the Netherlands.

"Despite the partial lockdown of the construction sector in Ireland, the overall group had a good start to the year, with revenue growth gaining good momentum in March and April," it said.

“Woodie’s in Ireland and Selco in the UK made the strongest gains, continuing the trend from the second half of last year. Strong demand and supply side constraints contributed to longer lead times, an increase in product price inflation and shortages of a number of key categories of building materials in the UK and Ireland,” it added.

Grafton said it expects adjusted operating profit for the current financial year to be between 15 and 20 per cent ahead of consensus forecasts of £206 million as a result of the stronger than anticipated growth in revenue in the last two months.

“At this relatively early stage of the year, we take a cautious view of the second half financial performance which is likely to be influenced by the pace of normalisation of consumer spending patterns,” it added.

"We have made a very positive start to the year and are encouraged by the improving trends and momentum in trading in the period which we expect to continue through the remainder of the half year. Despite some ongoing uncertainty related to the pandemic, Grafton is well placed for continued progress in the current year supported by our market leading businesses and strong financial position," said chief executive Gavin Slark.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist

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