Woodie’s DIY owner defies consumer slowdown

Shares in builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton surged nearly 8% on the back of latest revenue figures showing the group is defying the drop in consumer confidence in its core market of the UK.

Woodie’s DIY owner defies consumer slowdown

By Geoff Percival

Shares in builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton surged nearly 8% on the back of latest revenue figures showing the group is defying the drop in consumer confidence in its core market of the UK.

The Dublin-based owner of the Woodie’s DIY retail chain and the Chadwicks and Heiton-Buckley merchanting businesses reported a 10.2% year-on-year jump in revenues for the four months to the end of October, with like-for-like sales for the same period up by 5.5%.

Group revenue for the first 10 months of the year rose 9.3% to £2.5bn (€2.9bn).

Grafton’s UK merchanting division which contributes more than 70% to annual revenues increased sales by 8.1% in the first 10 months, despite October seeing a marked slowdown in consumer confidence in the UK.

However, Grafton also saw growth of over 10% in the first 10 months of the year in its Irish merchanting division and its Dutch division of 21%. Total revenue growth in retail, effectively the Woodie’s DIY business, amounted to 11% in the 10 months to the end of October.

“Following a good first- half performance, overall trading in the last four months has underpinned our confidence that we will deliver our expectations for the full year,” said chief executive Gavin Slark.

“The group has benefited from its exposure to multiple geographic markets,” he said.

Davy has forecast a 14% rise in Grafton’s operating profits this year to £186m.

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