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Fri September 24 2021

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Builders merchant sees sales pick up

7 Nov 13 Builders merchant group Grafton has seen sales at its UK stores grow 6.2% in the first 10 months of 2013.

Grafton, which includes Plumbase, Jackson Building Centres, Selco brands, saw a 0.6% dip in UK merchanting in the first quarter but has since seen sales pick up.

Its Irish merchanting business is also in modest recovery, with revenue growing 1.1% so far this year.

Total group revenue for the 10 months to 31 October 2013 was £1.60bn, up from £1.49bn for the same period last year, an increase of 7.4%.

Full year operating profit (before pension credit) is set to be in line with expectations, the company said in a trading update. 

Chief executive Gavin Slark said: "The housing market in the UK is benefiting from government-backed initiatives and confidence is slowly but surely returning.  This should have a positive, though lagged, effect on Grafton as housing transactions and household spending on RMI increases.  In Ireland, consumer confidence has improved and the Merchanting and DIY markets have stabilised at very low levels of activity."

Grafton says it is the UK's third largest builders merchanting business and is the fourth largest plumbers merchanting business by turnover with an estimated 10% market share.

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