- International builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton Group has had a good start to the year with a continuation of the favourable trading conditions experienced in the final quarter of 2016 and the benefit of exposure to multiple markets.

An update issued ahead of today's annual general meeting said that group revenue increased by 7.7% to £851m (four months to 30 April 2016: £790m) and by 5.0% in constant currency.

It said growth in total revenue in constant currency and in sterling reflected one less trading day in the merchanting businesses in the UK and Ireland and prior year branch closures in the UK merchanting business.

Chief executive Gavin Slark said: "The group has had a good start to the year and the outlook is positive.

"We expect a continuation of the favourable trends in the Irish and Netherlands businesses. In view of recent economic and political developments, we are more cautious about the prospects for the UK however we have a good portfolio of businesses with strong market positions and we look to the future with confidence."

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