Buildbase and Selco owner Grafton sees revenue build to £1.23 billion

Builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton saw revenue up by 13.3% to £1.23 billion in the six months to 30 June (like-for-like 2015 £1.08 billion).

Grafton’s operation is largely based in the UK and Ireland, with a smaller presence in the Netherlands and Holland. The building materials group has 668 branches across different brands, principally including the Selco, Buildbase and Plumbase names in the SE, Midlands and North of England.

Merchanting makes up 92% of group revenue and in the UK Merchanting business - largely in the residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market - it progressively weakened and was negative in June.

Selco maintained like-for-like growth through Q2, with new branches and acquisitions helping those revenue gains. Selco opened a branch in Watford (March) and in Chessington earlier this month. There's more plotted for the second half of the year.

The merchanting business in Ireland delivered strong growth, recovering from a low base. The Netherlands part of the business was acquired in November 2015 and revenue was ahead of pre-acquisition level thanks to growth in house building and spending on RMI. In Belgium there was a decline in revenue, thanks in part to a weak 'macro-economic environment'.

Gavin Slark, CEO of Grafton Group pl, said: "The referendum decision in the UK to leave the European Union has created uncertainty about the near term outlook and prospects for the economy and this is likely to weigh on demand in the new housing and RMI markets over the remainder of the year.

"Selco is a proven resilient model and continues to be the focus for development capital in the UK.  Growth in the Irish and the Netherlands merchanting markets is expected to continue broadly in line with recent trends. The Group's financial strength and geographic diversity leave it well positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that may emerge across the markets in which it operates."

In Northern Ireland, Grafton trades under the Macnaughton Blair brand. In Belgium Grafton owns the YouBuild and MPRO brands and in the Netherlands Gerritse, Breaur Ceintuurbaan and Van der Winkel names.