Grafton Group starts 2016 strongly with 17pc increase in Irish merchanting revenue
Building materials group Grafton Group has posted a 17pc increase in its Irish merchanting business in the first four months of the year.
In a trading update issued to shareholders this morning, Grafton said it benefited from a broadly favourable economic environment in the UK and continuing growth momentum in Ireland.
Group revenue increased by 13.2pc in the opening third of the year and rose by 11.9pc on a constant currency basis.
Grafton said the improving economic and market conditions contributed to double-digit growth in Ireland.
"Increased spending on residential residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) projects continued to generate strong volume growth.
"The early stage recovery in the house building, infrastructure and commercial property markets also contributed to the favourable trading conditions," the company said in a statement.
In November Grafton acquired dutch firm Isero BV. The firm said improved consumer spending has led to a strengthening of the housing market in the Netherlands, which has supported god revenue growth at the subsidiary.
Weak economic fundamentals and March's terrorist attacks led to lower activity in the firm's Belgian merchanting business.
Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark said he was positive about the group's prospects.
"Strong market fundamentals should support activity in the UK housing and RMI markets although uncertainty over the outcome of the referendum on continued membership of the EU appears to be having a bearing on current activity levels," Mr Slark said.