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Grafton Group steps up with acquisition of staircase manufacturer

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Grafton Group PLC (LON:GFTU) has stepped back into the market with the acquisition of a company that makes bespoke wooden staircases.

The FTSE 250-listed building materials group is paying £44mln cash for AVC, which trades as Stairbox in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

StairBox, which primarily serves trade customers operating in the repair, maintenance and improvement market, reported revenue of £19.5mln and adjusted operating profit of £6.1mln in the year to end-March, 2020.

It has developed a software application that enables customers to easily and accurately design, visualise and price staircases online, with the resulting products manufactured at what it said was a state-of-the-art production facility in Stoke-on-Trent.

“StairBox is a dynamic manufacturing business with a best in class on-line solution at its core,” said Gavin Slark, Grafton’s chief executive in a statement.

“It has an efficient production process, nationwide distribution and strong growth potential.”

It is the group’s first acquisition since purchasing Polvo, a Dutch ironmongery business, in July 2019.

Broker Peel Hunt said if Stairbox delivers a similar level of operating profit in 2021 than it did last year, this implies a 3% increase to its current operating profit estimate.

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