Northern Ireland

MacNaughton Blair affected as customers put off home renovation plans

The company which owns the MacNaughton Blair building supplies chain has said profit growth will slow in the second half of its financial year as customers put off home renovation plans.

Dublin-based Grafton, which has nearly three-quarters of its turnover in the UK, said it expects full-year operating profit to be between 52m and 55m euros.

That compares to a profit of 50.6m euros a year ago.

In the first half of the year, operating profit rose 40% to 26m euros.

Average daily UK like-for-like turnover growth slowed to 2% in September and October compared with growth of 4.7% in the first half of the year.

Overall, group turnover for the first 10 months of the year rose slightly to 1.73bn euros from 1.7bn euros a year ago.

In Ireland, Grafton said prolonged austerity measures and high levels of personal indebtedness would likely make trading conditions challenging for some time.

Grafton has owned MacNaughton Blair since 1990. The firm has 19 branches across Northern Ireland.