Shares in Grafton jumped this morning after the company said it is to leave the Irish stock exchange to take up a listing on London's FTSE UK Index Series.

This follows a number of other high-profile departures from the Dublin stock exchange in the last two years.

The builders merchanting and DIY group said the move will increase the company's profile and its suitability as an investment for UK and international investors.

The group, with operations in Ireland, the UK and Belgium, said the decision was based on the fact that it has grown and spread since its shares were listed. 

Three quarters of its revenue is generated in the UK and most of its development activity is taking place outside Ireland.

It also said that its shareholder profile has changed significantly and the majority of its shares are now held by institutional investors located outside of Ireland.

The company said that none of the changes that will be implemented will have any impact on its operations, which will remain headquartered, domiciled and tax resident in Ireland.

''The group also remains fully committed to its Irish operations,'' it said in a statement.

"The development of Grafton Group has benefitted over almost half a century from its listing on the Irish Stock Exchange. The listing facilitated Grafton's successful growth to the point where three quarters of the group's revenue and most of its development activity now takes place outside of Ireland,'' commented the company's chief executive Gavin Slark.

"The decision to move the listing responds to the new realities facing Grafton, including the significant changes in its shareholder base with the majority of the group's shares now held by institutional investors outside Ireland, and will provide the group with the platform from which to grow the business even further,'' he added.

Grafton shares were up over 4% in morning trade in Dublin.