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    Grafton reports strong sales despite currency hit

    Builders merchanting firm Grafton Group has reported sales of €1.07bn for the first six months of the year, despite taking a hit on weaker sterling-euro currency translation in the period.

    In an interim management statement issued by the company this morning, Grafton said that weaker sterling crimped reported revenue to the tune of €26m. The company generates about three-quarters of its revenue and profit in the UK.

    Shares in the Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare owner fell as much as 2pc this morning however, even after it said that revenue at its Irish merchanting arm, which includes Chadwicks and Heatons, grew in the first half of 2013 for the first time since 2007.

    The group, headed by chief executive Gavin Slark, said that its UK merchanting business experienced stronger demand in May and June, with like-for-like revenue 1.7pc ahead in the first six months compared to the first half of 2013.

    At its DIY outlets in Ireland, Grafton said that revenue was flat.

    John Mulligan, Irish Independent


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