Grafton Group Strong Performance in Challenging Markets

Grafton Group plc, the international building materials distributor and DIY retailer has announced its final results for 2023.

The group had a full year adjusted operating profit of £205.5 million which was above the top end of Analysts’ forecasts. There is also strong free cashflow of £205.6 million which is up from 2022 figures of £163.3 million.

Underlying demand fundamentals for the Group’s RMI and new housing markets remain strong and the company benefited from the Group’s geographic diversification and cost reduction measures.

Woodie’s DIY, Home and Garden retail business performed well while there was strong performance by UK Manufacturing businesses despite volume declines.

Chief Executive Officer, Eric Born, commented: “Despite challenging market conditions, Grafton has succeeded in delivering full year adjusted operating profit above the top end of Analysts’ forecasts. This is testament to our resilient market leading positions, responsive management teams and portfolio of high-returning businesses.

“We generated excellent free cashflow of £205.6 million from operations and returned £228.3 million to shareholders during the year in the form of share buybacks and dividends, making a total of £437.2 million which we have returned to shareholders over the past two years.

“Looking ahead, we expect to continue to benefit from the spread of the Group’s operations across four geographies and exposure to a broad range of end-markets. Our strong balance sheet and record of cash generation will stand us in good stead. We will allocate capital as required to ensure that the Group’s brands continue to support their customers and strengthen their market positions. In parallel, we will continue to evaluate opportunities in existing markets and new geographies, building on the progress we have made, with a view to progressing possible growth opportunities that can create enduring value for our shareholders.

“While trading conditions are expected to remain challenging, demand fundamentals are supported by a structural under supply of new homes and an aging housing stock that requires upgrading including energy conservation measures. With a somewhat improving economic backdrop, we are confident that Grafton is exceptionally well positioned to benefit as the cycle turns, markets normalise and consumer confidence improves.”