Grafton Group's Irish business fuels double-digit growth

Early housing market recovery made an impact on the builders merchants' interim bottom line

Building materials firm Grafton Group has reported revenue growth of 13% to £1.23 billion for the first six months of the year.

The company posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of £65 million, representing a 12% increase.

Operating profit before property profit climbed 18% to £64.8 million, reflecting strong contributions from Grafton's Irish business.

The recent acquisitions of Isero in the Netherlands and Selco in the UK also played their part.

Earnings per share were up 10% in the first half.

Grafton's merchanting business in Ireland benefitted from its leading market position and the early stages of recovery in the housing and commercial property markets, as well as strong growth in the residential repair maintenance and improvement (RMI) market.

The DIY retailing business also performed well, owing to increased household spending in the sector.

Grafton Group CEO Gavin Slark said:

"Despite the more uncertain and competitive market conditions in the UK, Grafton continued to make good progress in its key markets enabling the Group to record revenue, profit and earnings per share growth as well as strong cash generation.

"Both Ireland and the Netherlands continue to show strong growth with ongoing development opportunities. Grafton will continue to invest in areas of its business which combine good long term growth prospects and the opportunity to improve the Group's operating margin and return on capital employed."