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Grafton expects UK market slowdown

Builders’ merchants Grafton said it expects its UK market to be hit by a slowdown in 2008.

It said that its Irish merchanting arm had already been hit by declining sales in the second half of 2007 but that its UK section had continued to grow.

In a trading update ahead of its 2007 preliminary results announcement on 10 March, the firm added: “The long term growth and stability of the UK economy place it in a strong position to cope with an expected slowdown.

“It should continue to be a market which presents sound growth and development opportunities in the merchanting sector.”

The group said turnover for the year would be around £2.4 billion, up 10 per cent from 2006.