Grafton Group, the Irish headquartered builders merchant and DIY retailer, said that group revenue for the ten months to the end of October rose by 9.1% to £2.3 billion compared to the same time last year.

The company said that revenue at its Irish merchanting operations rose by 17.6%, while its UK business saw revenues up 5% over the ten month period and its Dutch merchanting business jumped over 49%.

Revenues at its Irish retailing division increased by 14% in the ten months to October and Grafton said that spending at its Woodies DIY chain increased strongly as customers responded well to the store upgrades.

"The business is now focused on the typically higher volume final two months of the year when seasonally important Christmas category is a key driver of demand," the company said.

Grafton noted that the pace of growth in its Irish merchanting business moderated a little - as expected. But it said the prospects for sustained growth remained "positive". 

"The recovery in house building gathered momentum from a low base but it will require several years for supply to meet ongoing demand," the company noted.

It also said its Netherlands merchanting business continued to perform strongly with the benefit of broadly based growth in the Dutch economy.
 

The rate of like-for-like growth in its UK merchanting business was influenced by a weak third quarter comparator in 2016.

Grafton said that UK demand softened in October and volumes were broadly flat measured against an improving trend in the fourth quarter of last year.

It added that pricing remains competitive heading into the latter part of the year. 

Grafton's chief executive Gavin Slark said the company's expectations for the full year remain unchanged. 

"We anticipate that current trading conditions in the UK merchanting business are likely to continue over the remainder of the year while the Irish and Netherlands businesses should benefit from favourable trading conditions and strong market positions," Mr Slark added.