It now stands at £1.9 billion, supported by the groups ‘significant exposure’ to the RMI sector which increased by 1.5 per cent in sterling. This offset the dramatic decline in house building activity in the period.
But the firm said downward pressure on RMI market activity has gathered pace over the year resulting in a decline of 6 per cent in like for like sales for the month.
Grafton said it continues to be profitable and cash generative and is dealing with the challenges presented by weakening economic conditions and events in the financial markets from a position of strength.
It said it will continue to focus on achieving efficiencies through cost cutting and maximising cash flow generation.
The firm said: “The group has a strong balance sheet backed by tangible assets with a substantial property portfolio.
“The actions outlined above should leave the group's strong brands well placed to cope with evolving market conditions and return to profitable growth when the UK and Irish economies begin to emerge from the current downturn.”