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Grafton turnover falls 28pc in first 10 months of 2009

Irish builders merchants and DIY firm Grafton Group said its turnover for the 10 months to the end of October is 28 per cent down on the same period a year ago.

In a trading update today, Grafton said turnover for the first 10 months of 2009 totalled €1.69 billion (£1.51 billion) down €661 million (£592 million) or 28 per cent on the €2.35 billion (£2.1 billion) in the same period last year.  

But the group, which has sites in the UK and Ireland, has seen its turnover stabilise throughout the course of the year.

Quarterly turnover across the group was €470 million (£421 million) in quarter one, €520 million (£466 million) in quarter two and €522 million (£468 million) in quarter three.

Group turnover for the month of October was €174 million (£156 million).

Like for like sales per working day in the group’s UK businesses in October were down 4 per cent on a constant currency basis compared to minus 18 per cent in the first half.

In Ireland, like for like sales per working day in October were down 30 per cent compared to minus 37 per cent for the six months to 30th June 2009.

The firm said: “The extensive rationalisation and integration programme is well advanced and the benefit of cost reductions is being reflected across the group.

“The group is cash generative and net debt levels continue to be reduced.

“Grafton maintains a comprehensive business franchise in its core markets with strong competitive operating units and a conservatively managed securely funded balance sheet with good liquidity.

“The group remains well positioned to capitalise on upturns in activity in its markets as they emerge.”