Builders merchant and DIY group Grafton said it saw an increase in momentum in the first half, with demand tracking an ongoing economic recovery in the UK and Ireland.
Ahead of its interim results due out on August 27th, the company said that the first-half financial performance is expected to show a "significant improvement" on last year.
Revenues in the six months to June 30th were up 11.3% at £1.015bn.
Trading conditions were said to be "favourable" during the first half of the year, as the economic recovery became "firmly established and gradually gained momentum".
Better weather conditions than last year also provided a boost to demand, especially in the UK merchanting business which accounts for three quarters of group revenue.
Grafton also said it benefitted from the "continued revival in the UK housing market" with strong investment in resident housing projects.
"Our UK and Irish merchanting businesses have benefited from an improved market backdrop which, combined with our organic growth plans, means the group is well placed to build on its strong first half performance," said Chief Executive Gavin Slark.
Much stronger net inflows and a better investment performance helped emerging markets asset manager Ashmore beat consensus forecasts for fourth-quarter assets under management and arrest the previous quarter's decline.
Assets under management increased 7% during the quarter to $75.0bn, having declined by a similar amount in the previous quarter. Net inflows totalled $1.6bn, while positive investment performance added $3.3bn.
Chief Executive Mark Coombs said: "Improving sentiment and the consequent market recovery have benefited those investors who remained focused on the economic and political fundamentals in emerging markets and who took the opportunity to invest in mis-priced assets earlier in the year.
"Looking ahead, the prospects for investment returns are enhanced by the on-going development of the asset class.
"New countries being represented in indices broadens the diverse range of opportunities available and supports increasing allocations by dedicated investors."
Net inflows were derived from a wide range of fixed income and equities themes, which Coombs said reflected a broad mix of clients by type and domicile, and were balanced in respect of mandate size.
There was better-than-expected demand for blended debt, corporate debt and local currency assets, while multi-strategy experienced institutional demand offset the expected outflows from Japanese retail funds.
There were net outflows in the external debt and overlay/liquidity themes.
Ashmore said investment performance was boosted by buying into the "numerous periods of market weakness" over the past 12 months.
"This approach has delivered positive investment performance over the quarter with all themes contributing except alternatives and overlay/liquidity, which were flat. Investment returns were particularly strong in the blended debt, local currency, external debt and equities themes."