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Grafton profits jump

Ireland-based builders' merchant and DIY retailer Grafton Group said turnover increased by 3% to €1.008bn in the half-year to end-June (2010: €978.7m).
Operating profit before amortisation and restructuring increased by 40% to €26.2m (2010: €18.7m).

Group profit before taxation, amortisation and restructuring costs increased by 16% to €20.2m (2010: €17.4m).

The gross margin was in line with 2010 and overheads in the like for like business were marginally lower.

Restructuring costs of €4m were incurred in the period (2010: €2.9m).

The Group said it continued to generate strong cashflow from operations and ended the half year in a healthy financial position with gearing reduced to 26% of shareholders' equity (30th June 2010: 29%).

The Belgian builders merchanting business in which the Group had a 49% interest traded successfully and completed two acquisitions in the current year increasing its annualised turnover to circa €50m. Group turnover now includes the Group's share of that business which amounted to €10.8m in the half year.

An interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share has been approved representing an increase of 10% on last year's interim dividend of 2.5 cents per share.

Gavin Slark, CEO, 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."

Source : IB Times

31 August 2011
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