Grafton Group, the Irish headquartered builders merchant and DIY retailer, enjoyed a better first half than anticipated.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and reports its figures in sterling

In today's trading statement, Grafton said it saw its revenue grow by 9% to £1.3 billion. 

Its merchanting business in Ireland was the standout performer with sales up 12% over the six months to the end of June. 

It also said that strong revenue growth in its Woodie's DIY business was driven by employment and incomes growth. 

Monthly revenue trends in the second quarter were markedly influenced by the timing of Easter and demand for seasonal products, the company added.

The company said that merchanting revenues at its UK operations rose by 4.5%, while they were 1.5% higher in Belgium and 4.3% higher in the Netherlands. 

Grafton's chief executive Gavin Slark said the company expects to benefit further from positive trends in Ireland and the Netherlands over the second half. 

"Whilst we remain optimistic on the medium term outlook for the UK, we are cautious about the shorter term impact of current uncertainty and pressure on real incomes which may temper growth in spending on housing RMI (Renovation Maintenance Improvement)", he added.