Builders merchant and DIY group, Grafton, has revealed Group revenue for the first half of the year increased by 6.6% to £1.08 billion.
Its UK Merchanting business benefited from growth in average daily like-for-like revenue although markets remained competitive.
The Group described Selco Builders Warehouse’s performance as “excellent” in the six months to 30 June 2015 as the leverage from increased revenue resulted in a significant improvement in performance.
Selco opened a new branch in Redhill at the beginning of the year and more recently launched in Coventry, becoming the merchant’s 37th site in the UK.
The positive impact on trading from higher volumes in the traditional builders merchanting business was partially offset by a lower gross margin due to competition and mix changes. The performance of Plumbase was impacted by flat revenue and weaker pricing in a plumbing and heating market that continued to experience challenging trading conditions.
Grafton’s Irish Merchanting business continued to perform ahead of improving trends as strong growth in the residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market was complemented by a modest recovery in housebuilding from low levels and increased activity in the non-residential and infrastructure markets.
However, performance of the Belgian Merchanting business was affected by weak demand in the residential new build and RMI markets against the backdrop of relatively flat economic activity.
Gavin Slark, chief executive officer of Grafton Group plc said: “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.”