- Grafton said it expected full-year results to undershoot market expectations as the weaker backdrop seen in the third quarter continued into October.

'Against the backdrop of softer third quarter trends which have continued into October, the group currently expects to report full year operating profit for continuing operations in the range of 4% to 8% lower than current consensus,' Grafton said.

The dour outlook comes as like-for-like revenue increased by 0.9% and total revenue by 4.5% in the third quarter, with the company blaming a softening in activity, which somewhat offset an encouraging start to the quarter.

Volumes in the UK merchanting business were affected by weak underlying demand fundamentals as households deferred discretionary spending on home improvement projects against the backdrop of increased economic uncertainty, the company said.

While the Irish economy continued to benefit from positive momentum, there was some slowing in demand in the merchanting and DIY markets as consumer sentiment eased in response to a more cautious international outlook, the company added.

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