The latest trading update from the Grafton Group show an increase in revenue of 8.7% last year, ahead of analysts’ predictions.

Group revenue for 2018 was £2.95 billion, an increase of 8.7% from £2.72 billion in 2017. Revenue growth in constant currency was 8.4% and average daily like-for-like revenue increased by 4.3%. As expected, the rate of growth moderated in November and December following above trend growth in September and October.

The FTSE 250-listed parent company of Selco, Buildbase and Plumbase also acquired Leyland SDM in February 2018, which Grafton’s Chief Executive Officer Gavin Slark credited the strong year to. He also cited contributions from organic growth, the Group’s exposure to multiple geographies and its diverse customer base.

As part of its strategy to improve returns, the Group disposed of two small non-core UK businesses which contributed revenue of £40.0 million and EBITA of around £1.4 million in 2018.

Slark said: "We are pleased with the strong performance over the year.

“The Group's cash generative businesses, strong balance sheet and low level of net debt support our development strategy for the year ahead."