Home repairs, improvements and DIY are all beginning to pick up, according to a trading statement from Grafton Group the builders merchant and retail group.

The Dublin-based, but London-listed, company noted a modest improvement in housebuilding activity in Ireland.

It said its revenues here were 13.7% higher for the six months to the end of June. 

The majority of Grafton's business, however, is in the UK where it saw more modest growth of 4.3%.

The company said that the anticipated momentum in growth in the UK has not get gained the consistent traction expected, although the overall trajectory remains favourable.  

Grafton said its DIY business in Ireland saw modest revenue growth, adding that management continued to take action to build a stronger business as the emerging recovery in the retail market extends into the DIY sector.

Revenues at its operations in Belgium inched 0.2% higher as its operations there were affected by weak demand.

Overall, Grafton said its revenue for the period was just over £1 billion, an increase of 6.6% year-on-year.

"The fundamental strengths of the group's strong brands and market positions together with the operational improvements made in recent years give us confidence that, despite current challenges, we can deliver the group's medium term targets outlined earlier this year," Gavin Slark, the company's chief executive stated.