Investors hope Grafton Group can unlock an £880m M&A war chest

Shareholders in the listed building materials company want to see a renewed strategic vision under new chief executive Eric Born

Eric Born, chief executive, Grafton Group: ‘It’s still early days in Born’s tenure as chief executive, but you get the sense the next six months will be key if he is to win over the support of investors’

Grafton Group, the building materials and merchant company that owns Chadwick’s and Woodies, issued a trading update to markets this week that sent mixed signals. On the one hand, its retail business in Ireland under the Woodies DIY brand is booming.

For the first six months of the year, Woodies recorded more than 6 per cent topline growth driven by strong demand for seasonal products, particularly in the second quarter when underlying sales increased 14 ...