Building and DIY materials specialist Grafton Group has announced an 88% rise in pre-tax profit in the first six months of the year, with the company earning £45.9m during the period.

This comes on the back of an 11% rise in revenue at £1.02bn during the first half of the year thanks to strong growth in its British business.

Grafton’s business is primarily focused on Britain and Ireland, with the company operating a number of builders’ merchant chains like Heiton Buckley, as well as consumer-focused brands like Woodies DIY.

The company said its British merchant business had performed well due to growth in the country’s repair, maintenance and improvement market.

The firm also cited growth at its Irish business, as the economic recovery began to gain momentum.

Grafton said its outlook is positive overall, though it expects a slower rate of growth in the second half of the year.

It said it was confident that the full year's trading performance will be in line with expectations.