- Grafton Group reported an uptick in half-yearly profits on improved margins strength in its merchanting and retailing businesses in Ireland.

For the six months ended 30 June, pretax profit rose 5% to £88.2m from a year earlier as revenue increased 2% to £1.5bn.

The improved performance supported an increase in adjusted operating profit margin by 20 basis points to 6.8% and an increase in return on capital employed by 100 basis points to 15.0%, the company said.

Average daily like-for-like group revenue increased by 3% in July comprising growth of 1.4% in UK Merchanting, 5.9% in Irish merchanting, 0.5% in Netherlands merchanting, 16.9% in retailing and a decline of 0.1 per cent in manufacturing.

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