Grafton Group, a builders merchant and DIY Group, said Friday it expected earnings 'slightly' ahead of the top end of analyst expectations. 'With a good performance over the year, the Group anticipates reporting (earnings) EBITA for 2018 slightly ahead of the top end of analyst expectations,' Grafton Group said. Analyst consensus estimates of EBITA for 2018 was £185.1m with the top end of the range at £188.5m. For the year ended 31 December, revenue rose 8.7% to £2.95bn, and average daily like-for-like revenue increased by 4.3%. As expected, the rate of growth moderated in November and December following above trend growth in September and October, the company said. 'The Group continues to benefit from its exposure to multiple geographies and its diverse customer base. The Group's cash generative businesses, strong balance sheet and low level of net debt support our development strategy for the year ahead,' said Gavin Slark, Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Group.
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