Woodie's DIY and Atlantic Hardware contribute 4.6% growth in parent firm's retailing operations, easing declines in Ireland in Q1.
The rate of decline in turnover in Ireland moderated to 2.6% for the four months ended April 30, 2011, boosted by growth in the retailing businesses.
Grafton, which also operates several merchanting chains in Ireland, as well as Plumbase, Buildbase, Selco and Jackson Building Centres in the UK, reported a group turnover of €642m, up 4% on the same period in 2010.
Average daily like-for-like sales in the UK increased by 5.8% in sterling, while recovery in the residential RMI orientated UK operations continued against a backdrop of low consumer confidence. This side of the business now accounts for more than 70% of group turnover, said the firm.
Despite the uplift in DIY retailing operations, trading conditions in Ireland remained challenging, said Grafton, due to weak demand in the residential RMI market and low levels of activity in the new build markets.
The firm attributes its improved operating performance during the quarter to an increase in turnover across the group, coupled with the measures taken to lower its cost base over recent years. As a result, Grafton believes it is well placed to benefit from a recovery in its markets.