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Grafton Group reports 40% increase in operating profit

Grafton Group plc has today announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2011.

Overview:
- Revenue €1,008 m (€979 m, 2010) = +3%
- Adjusted operating profit* €26.2 m (€18.7 m, 2010) = +40%
- Operating profit per income statement €21.1 m (€14.8 m, 2010) = +43%
- Profit before tax €15.1 m (€13.4 m, 2010) = +13%
- Profit after tax €12.4 m (€12.9 m, 2010) = -4%
- EBITDA (before restructuring costs) €47.3 m (€40.9 m, 2010) = +16%
- Adjusted earnings per share* 7.2 c (7.0 c, 2010) = +3%
- Basic earnings per share 5.4 c (5.6 c, 2010) = -4%
- Dividend 2.75c (2.5 c, 2010) = +10%
- Net debt €245.8 m (€281.0 m, 2010)
- Gearing 26% (29%, 2010)

* Before intangible amortisation €1.1m (2010: €1.1m) and restructuring costs €4.0m (2010: €2.9m)

Highlights:
-Merchanting operating profit increased by 22% to €33.4m
-UK turnover and profits increase
- UK operating margin improved to 4.5%
- Cost reductions improve returns in weak Irish market

Financial:
- Strong cash flow from operations of €48.6m reduces gearing to 26%
- Renewed investment in asset replacement and development expenditure
- Further reduction in debt
- Agreement in principle to extend maturity profile of net debt to five years

Commenting on the outlook, Gavin Slark, Chief Executive Officer said:

“The Group is well placed to deal with the continued difficult trading conditions in our core markets. A number of self help initiatives have been identified that will enable us to improve our performance in margins, costs control and cash generation. This leaves us in a strong position to take advantage of any economic upturn or expansion opportunities.”

Further information on the results can be found by viewing the full release:
http://investor.graftonplc.com/grf/media/press/2011/2011-08-31/2011-interim-results.pdf

Source : Grafton Group Plc corporate website
http://investor.graftonplc.com/grf/media/press/2011/2011-08-31/2011-interim-results.pdf

09 November 2011
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