Trading brands, that also include Wickes, Keyline and City Plumbing Supplies, performed well and took advantage of a gradual strengthening in their markets, a spokesman said.

Turnover rose 7.9% to £2.8bn, generating a 3.7% increase in operating profit at £278m. Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 6.6% to £220m. The branch network also grew by 26 to 559 sites.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “We made considerable progress in the development and performance of our business. Our financial results are ahead of original expectations for the year with further expansion of our branch network and satisfactory integration of the Wickes business.”