- Interim pre-tax profits at fabric and wallpaper designer and distributor Colefax fell to £1.14m - down from £2.48m last time.

The firm says its performance was ahead of expectations although trading remains mixed.

Sales in the six months to the end of October fell to £30.97m - down from £36.72m - but the firm is maintaining the interim dividend at 1.55p per share.

The group had net cash of £4.43m compared with £2.24m in 2008.

The group says the UK market is better than expected but the US is exceptionally weak.

Chairman David Green said: "Our results for the first six months to 31 October 2009, whilst significantly down on the same period last year, are better than we expected when we announced our final results in July 2009.

"The reduction in profits is mainly due to exceptionally weak trading conditions in the US which is our most important market but this has been partially offset by a better than expected performance in the UK."

Story provided by Business Financial Newswire