Pent up demand guides Grafton to better than expected June

Grafton Group’s trading update revealed more resilient trading in June than expected, due in part to pent up demand.

Trading was down to £1.06 billion, or 19.4%, in the six months to 30 June 2020. That indicated a lessening of the blow of Covid-19 – revenue was down 26% in the five months to 31 May 2020.

June 2020 performed more strongly than June 2019, up 11.4% at £222.4 million, with the benefit of two additional days trading in the distribution and manufacturing businesses and revenue from the Polvo acquisition.

While demand was strong at Selco in the UK as well as Grafton’s businesses in Ireland and the Netherlands, there was a slower pace of recovery in the traditional distribution and manufacturing businesses in the UK. June average daily like-for-like revenue in the UK distribution business was circa 90% of the prior year level. Selco completed the reopening of all its branches on 22 June, having initially opened for Click and Collect and Click and Delivery-only trading. Grafton’s traditional UK merchanting businesses also transitioned to full service during June.


The Chadwicks branch estate fully reopened on 18 May and saw 7.3% in average daily like-for-like revenue in June, largely driven by strong demand in the repair, maintenance and improvement segment of the housing market.

The Woodie’s DIY, Home and Garden business also saw a demand surge when it reopened on 18 May, setting a new record for monthly revenue in June due to exceptional sales of seasonal products.

The Netherlands

June trading in the Netherlands distribution business reflected solid underlying demand as expected.

"I would like to express our gratitude to all of our colleagues for their continued commitment to the business and for providing a safe environment for each other and our customers,” said CEO Gavin Slark. “While we face many challenges in the months ahead, we are encouraged by the Group's trading and financial performance in the month of June which represented an important milestone on the road to recovery.  Grafton is in a strong financial position and our resilient portfolio of market leading businesses is emerging stronger from this crisis and remains well positioned for future growth."