And Andrew Gerrard, GE Robinson’s managing director, told TTJ that the company is actively looking for further acquisitions backed by owner the Haldane Shiells Group, which owns 16 branches in total, including Haldane Fisher.

The acquisition of West Midlands Merchant Trading Company becomes the most southern branch in GE Robinson’s business.

Existing group companies Garstang Timber & Building Supplies and Makerfield Timber & Building Supplies are based in Lancashire and Merseyside respectively.

"The key to us about the new acquisition is the location," said Mr Gerrard. "We do sell to the Midlands from Salford, but it’s quite a distance for us."

Mr Gerrard said the West Midlands company was a very similar operation to GE Robinson as a timber and plywood importer, with the majority of its customers in the industrial sector, manufacturing product such as packaging, fencing and sheds.

GE Robinson, together with Northern Ireland-based Haldane Shiells, decided some time ago they would look for acquisitions in England.

"Southern Ireland has been struggling recently and the market place is better to have branches in England," he added. "The business climate has improved and our operations have stepped up a gear. It’s been a good start to the year and hopefully it will continue."

GE Robinson is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It plans to hold an event in the summer for staff, customer and suppliers.