Grafton Group plc, the international builders merchanting and DIY Group, issues this trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018 in advance of the announcement of its Final Results for 2018 on 28 February 2019.

Group Revenue and Operating Profit

Group revenue for 2018 was £2.95 billion, an increase of 8.7 per cent from £2.72 billion in 2017. Revenue growth in constant currency was 8.4 per cent and average daily like-for-like revenue increased by 4.3 per cent. As expected, the rate of growth moderated in November and December following above trend growth in September and October.

With a good performance over the year, the Group anticipates reporting EBITA for 2018 slightly ahead of the top end of analyst expectations*.

As part of our overall strategy to improve returns, the Group disposed of two small non-core UK businesses which contributed revenue of £40.0 million and EBITA of circa £1.4 million in 2018.

Gavin Slark, Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Group plc commented today:

“We are pleased with the strong performance over the year, with contributions from both organic growth and the Leyland SDM acquisition. The Group continues to benefit from its exposure to multiple geographies and its diverse customer base. The Group’s cash generative businesses, strong balance sheet and low level of net debt support our development strategy for the year ahead.”

*Grafton compiled analyst forecasts show consensus EBITA for 2018 of £185.1m with the top end of the range £188.5m.