Profits at specialist merchanting and DIY firm Grafton increased in each of the last three quarters, signalling a gradual recovery, the firm announced today.
In a trading update released to the stock market today, the firm said turnover in the first half of its financial year to 30 June was £816 million, compared to £825m at the same time last year.
While revenues have fallen, profits in the first half are ahead of last year, although the actual figure was not disclosed.
The statement said: “As expected group operating profitability in the period was ahead of last year. Profits recovered strongly in the second quarter relative to the first quarter of 2010 and the corresponding quarter in 2009.”
Sales turned positive in the second quarter, increasing 1 per cent assuming exchange rates were unchanged. This compares to a fall in sales of 7 per cent in the first quarter, based on the same exchange rates.
Sales at merchanting stores in the UK, which have been open for more than one year, increased 4 per cent in the second quartet, while the situation in Ireland was much worse, with falls of 10 per cent in the second quarter coming on the back of falls of 22 per cent in the first.