StockMarketWire.com - Luxury fabrics & wallpapers group Colefax reported sales of £70.62m in the year to end-April. Pre-tax profit was up 13% to £3.55m (2012: £3.15m).

Earnings per share rose 15% to 18.2p (2012: 15.8p).

£4m of cash was returned to shareholders via a Tender Offer and share buyback.

The company had net cash of £7.63m at period end (2012: £8.52m).

Colefax proposed a 5% increase in final dividend to 2.10p per share, taking total for the year to 4.00p per share (2012: 3.85p).

Fabric Division - sales in core US market increased by 6% but were down in the UK and Europe.

Decorating Division - affected by project delays.

Trading conditions continue to improve in the US but the UK and Europe remain difficult.

David Green, Chairman, commented, "The increase in the Group's profit was mainly due to improved profitability in the Fabric Division although overall sales remained flat. The Decorating Division was affected by delays to several key projects and as a result profits were well below expectations.

Trading conditions in our main market, the US, have continued to improve and we are optimistic about growth prospects. However trading in the UK and Europe remains difficult and we have budgeted for a further sales decline in the current year. We hope that these markets will bottom out this year and we will then see a return to growth. As a result we will continue to invest in our portfolio of brands in anticipation of more favourable market conditions."




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