Builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton has said that its Irish merchanting business saw growth between January and June last for the first time since 2007.

In a trading update, Grafton said that group revenue for the half year to the end of June was €1.07 billion, compared to revenue of €1.05 billion for the same period last year.

Grafton said that trading in the half year was affected by bad weather conditions in the first three months and a recovery in activity levels in the second three months.

Its UK merchanting business - which contributed 74% of group turnover - was ahead of last year by 1.7%, with the benefit of stronger demand during May and June.

Revenue in its Irish merchanting branches showed signs of stabilising, made competitive gains and grew revenues from its plumbing and heating branches and repair, maintenance and improvement products.

Grafton said this was the first period of growth for Irish merchanting since the first half of 2007, as average daily like for like revenue increased by 1%.

The company said its Irish retailing business was flat in the half year of 2013. It said the fall in revenue in the four months to the end of April, due to low temperatures, was fully recovered in May and June.

Shares in Grafton were down 2.7% at €5.45 at the ISEQ's close in Dublin this evening.

Grafton also said today that it has appointed of David Arnold as its group chief financial officer. David will join the board as he succeeds Colm ó Nualláin in September.

Mr Arnold has previously been group finance director of Enterprise and Redrow. Before that, he held senior financial positions in Six Continents and Tarmac.