- Floorcoverings distributor Headlam's revenues rose to £603.1m in the year to end-December, up from £586m. Underlying operating profit fell to £27.7m from £29.3m.

The group saw further gains in UK market share, with like for like revenues increasing by 1.5% despite the difficult start to the year. But it says its businesses in France and the Netherlands continue to face challenging markets and depressed profitability and an impairment of £5.4m relating to intangible and tangible fixed assets has been recognised during the year.

Group chief executive Tony Brewer said: "The final months of 2013 showed progressive improvement and this momentum has carried forward into the first two months of 2014. Whilst January and February are relatively lower trading months and compared against weaker comparatives from 2013, both months have produced a positive result. Furthermore, there are indications of a slight improvement in market conditions in the UK and a more stable market in Continental Europe.

"This trading improvement has coincided with the increased investment across the various group initiatives aimed at providing our customers with an ever improving overall service proposition and the group with a strong platform for future growth.

"Therefore, we enter the typically stronger spring selling period in a good position. Whilst the first two months are a welcome improvement, we believe that given a normal seasonal cycle and a maintained focus on the continued development of the quality of our businesses, we can look forward with cautious optimism to a resumption of profitable growth from the group in 2014"

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