Belfast Telegraph

Weaker demand in DIY and house building impacts owner of builders' merchants MacBlair

The parent company of builders' merchants MacBlair has seen revenue growth fall in the UK as the group was impacted by weaker demand in the DIY and house building markets. (stock photo)
The parent company of builders' merchants MacBlair has seen revenue growth fall in the UK as the group was impacted by weaker demand in the DIY and house building markets. (stock photo)

By Ellie Donnelly

The parent company of builders' merchants MacBlair has seen revenue growth fall in the UK as the group was impacted by weaker demand in the DIY and house building markets.

On the back of the "softer than anticipated" market conditions, like-for-like revenue growth at Grafton Group fell by 0.5% in its UK merchanting business in May and June, according to an interim trading update.

Grafton generated about 68% of its revenue last year in Britain. It operates 16 branches of MacBlair in Northern Ireland.

The group said activity over the summer in the UK will be an important determinant of momentum ahead of the "significant" trading months of September through to November.

Despite the UK economy facing a number of uncertainties, earlier this year Gavin Slark, chief executive of Grafton Group, said he did not believe Brexit will have any material impact on the group's business there given the size of the market. Flor O'Donoghue, analyst with Davy Stockbrokers, said yesterday that while the group's underlying revenue growth for the first half of 2019 was "good", Grafton was "more cautious" on its near-term outlook across the Irish Sea.

"Taken in its entirety, Grafton has enjoyed a good first half with another solid gain in like-for-like revenues (up 3.9%)."

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