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Grafton reports strong six months

Grafton Group (Grafton) posted strong half year results yesterday, thanks to the strength of the UK residential repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market. Reporting its interim results for the six months ended June 30 2007, the Dublin-based builders’ merchant and DIY Group, which owns the Plumbase and Buildbase brands of plumbers and builders’ suppliers, said sales were up 13 per cent to €1.61 billion from €1.43bn last year. Pre-tax profit rose 18 per cent to €106.4 million from €90.2m, while operating profit increased 16 per cent to €124.4m, against €106.9m over the same period last year. Michael Chadwick, Grafton executive chairman, said: “The growth in sales, profits and earnings derives from a strong performance in the UK business and solid profit growth in Ireland. In the UK this was supported by good underlying demand in the RMI market and contributions from acquisitions. “The Irish economy provided a positive trading background for the DIY business through the half year while Irish merchanting performed solidly. The Group is confident in the quality of its brands and businesses and believes it is well placed to respond to changing market conditions.”