Grafton revenue up, demand softened in October

9 November 2017

International merchanting and DIY business Grafton Group recorded a 9.1% increase in revenue to £2.3bn for the 10 months to October 31, 2017.

Grafton’s businesses include Buildbase, Selco and L&G Forest Products in England, Heiton Buckley in the Republic of Ireland and MacBlair in Northern Ireland.

The rate of like-for-like revenue growth in the UK merchanting business was influenced by a weak third quarter comparator in 2016.

Grafton’s UK merchanting average daily like-for-like revenue growth in constant currency in the 10 months to October 31, 2017 was 4.9%. For Ireland it was 10.6%, while group-wide it was 5.9%.

Demand softened in October and volumes were broadly flat measured against an improving trend in the fourth quarter of last year. Pricing remains competitive going into the year-end.

Selco is currently on track to open twelve new branches this year. A new branch was opened in Hemel Hempstead in September and the planned opening of branches in Hayes and Solihull before the year-end will increase the branch network to 59.

The pace of growth in the Irish Merchanting business moderated a little, as anticipated, although the prospects for sustained growth are positive.

The recovery in house building gathered momentum from a low base but it will require several years for supply to meet on-going demand.

Non-residential construction is in the early stages of a recovery that is expected to remain on a firm growth path.