- Furnishing fabrics & wallpapers designer and distributor Colefax reported sales up 15% to £39.17m in the half-year to end-October 2013 (2012: £34.04m).

There was a strong performance from the Decorating Division but partly due to timing of contracts.

· Core Fabric Division sales up 7% on a constant currency basis

· Pre-tax profit up 72% to £3.07m (2012: £1.79m)

· Earnings per share up 93% to 17.0p (2012: 8.8p)

· Net cash of £7.58m (2012: £5.59m)

· Interim dividend increased by 5% to 2.00p per share (2012: 1.90p per share)

· Proposed Tender Offer to return £4.4m of cash to shareholders

The Group trades under five brand names, serving different segments of the soft furnishings marketplace; these are Colefax and Fowler, Cowtan & Tout, Jane Churchill, Manuel Canovas and Larsen.

David Green, Chairman, said:

"A significant factor behind the increase in Group profits for the first six months was an improved performance from the Decorating Division, partly reflecting timing differences in the completion of projects. In the core Fabric Division sales increased by 7% on a constant currency basis mainly due to the ongoing recovery in the US market and a better than expected improvement in the UK market.

We are optimistic about the recovery in the US and the UK but, in Europe, we expect trading to remain challenging for at least the remainder of the year."

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