Selco and Woodies owner Grafton saw group revenue increase 46.5% on 2020 and a significant 18% on (pre-Covid) 2019 numbers.
Group revenue for H1 2021 was £1.55 billion, up 46.5% on H1 2020 (£1.06bn) and up 18% on H1 2019. 2020's numbers were, of course, impacted by temporary branch closures in the initial Covid-19 lockdown.
Selco and Woodies both maintained the strong revenue trends seen in Q1 2021, with the group noting "good underlying demand in the residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market.
By exceeding 2019 levels, the Grafton results add further evidence to the claim that this part of the market has recovered and exceeded 2019 levels.
PRICE INFLATION & SUPPLY CHAIN PRESSURES
The financial statement echoed countless others noting "pressure on supply chains caused by increased international demand for building materials, limitations on manufacturing capacity, a shortage of certain raw materials and container shipping logistics issues that affected the movement of goods internationally".
The group added: "These procurement challenges resulted in shortages of core building materials, an extension of delivery lead times, certain products being placed on allocation and a sharp increase in product price inflation across a range of categories in the UK and Ireland."
Selco & regional performance
Selco saw average daily like-for-like revenue up 74.4% up on H1 2020, and 18.4% up on tougher comparison period of H1 2019. A new Liverpool branch opened in April and two further branches are to open before year end.
Average daily like-for-like revenue for Chadwicks (Ireland) branches was down 2% in the period to mid-April as branches saw lower levels of activity with only some sectors allowed to continue operating. However, following April's phased reopening, the business saw its highest level of activity since 2008 and ended H1 2021 up 11.7% on H1 2019.
In the Netherlands, geographic coverage extended with acquired branches (numbering 117) while good volumes and revenue growth were seen in Q2.
Gavin Slark, CEO of Grafton Group plc, said: "I again wish to acknowledge the exceptional commitment of colleagues across the Group and to thank them for safely supporting high levels of customer demand in our branches, stores and manufacturing operations.
"We made significant progress implementing our strategy in the period that resulted in agreement to divest the Traditional Merchanting business in Great Britain on favourable terms and completion of the value enhancing IKH acquisition in Finland. Grafton traded ahead of expectations in the first half and, despite some ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic and sector-wide supply chain pressures, the Group has increased current year profit guidance for continuing operations supported by its market leading businesses and strong financial position."