The Grafton Group has revealed that its UK merchanting business grew its profits by almost 7% during the first half of the year.

The international builders' merchant and DIY group, which owns a number of brands in the UK including Selco, Buildbase and Plumbase, yesterday released a trading update for the six months to 30 June 2018.

Its Group revenue increased by 8.6% to £1.45 billion, compared to £1.33 billion for the first half of 2017, while its UK merchanting segment saw growth of 6.7% on the same period of 2017.

The company says it is pleased with its performance, and is "well placed" to meet its targets during the second half of 2018.

Grafton's UK merchanting business enjoyed daily like-for-like growth in constant currency of 1.8% during the six months to 30 June, which was the smallest increase of the four regions. The Irish merchanting business posted daily like-for-like growth in constant currency of 6.3% (total revenue growth of 7.6%), the Dutch business posted 7.9% growth (total revenue growth of 18.8%), and the Belgian business posted 3.9% growth (total revenue growth of 2.9%).

Grafton's retailing business grew its revenue by 13.4%, and the manufacturing business grew its revenue by 21%.

CEO Gavin Slark said: "We were pleased with the Group's performance in the first half though the trading pattern was heavily influenced by the weather. The very cold conditions experienced in March and April have been followed by a hot and dry May and June, which has benefited a number of businesses, particularly Woodie's.

"In the UK, the Group's growth has been influenced by the Selco store opening programme and the acquisition of Leyland SDM in February, where we are pleased with progress to date. Our businesses in Ireland and the Netherlands continue to perform well.

"We enter the second half well placed to deliver our expectations for the financial year."