Grafton Group reports revenues rise for 2012

Grafton Group said on Wednesday revenues for last year increased by almost 6 per cent as the company's merchanting business grew.

Grafton Group said on Wednesday revenues for last year increased by almost 6 per cent as the company's merchanting business grew.

In a trading statement for the year end of December, the group reported revenues of €2.17bn compared to €2.05bn the previous year.

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The firm anticipated operating profits for 2012 at no less than €70m, up from €56.9 the year before.

"The anticipated operating profit outcome reflects an improvement in trading in the final months of the year and the benefit of a relentless emphasis on improving performance through self-help measures against the backdrop of difficult market conditions," Grafton said in a statement.

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The builders merchants and DIY group - which has operations in the UK, Ireland and Belgium - said trading ended on a strong note with an increase in average daily UK like-for-like merchanting turnover.

UK merchanting sterling turnover increased by 3.1% in the year while average daily like-for-like sterling turnover climbed 1.7% including a growth of 3.7% in the last two months of the year.

However turnover in the Irish retailing business declined 9.2%.

"The immediate outlook for demand in the group's markets remains challenging and the timing and extent of any recovery is unclear," the company said in a statement.

"There will be a continued focus in 2013 on operational initiatives to improve profitability."

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Grafton added that its strong portfolio and revenues have left the group well placed for growth and development this year.

Shares soared 4.33% to €4.10 at 10:40 Wednesday.

Preliminary results for 2012 are expected to be announced on March 7th.

RD

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