- Colefax posts pre-tax profits of £4.89m for the year to the end of April - 38% up on last time.

The group - an international designer and distributor of luxury furnishing fabrics & wallpapers which owns a leading interior decorating business - said sales were up 11% at £78.04m and earnings per share rose by 53% TO 27.9p.

Chairman David Green said: "The main reason for the 38% increase in the Group's pre-tax profit was a strong performance from the Decorating Division. In the group's fabric division, sales increased by 6% on a constant currency basis, reflecting the ongoing recovery in our core US market and an improvement in UK trading in the second half of the year.

"In contrast, trading in Europe remained challenging in most of our major markets.

"Trading conditions in our two principal markets, the US and UK, continue to trend upwards but in low single figures and Continental Europe remains challenging.

"Although we remain optimistic about growth prospects, the high proportion of Group sales made in the US market and invoiced in US dollars means that the strength of sterling will have an adverse impact on profitability.

"In addition, the decorating division is expected to return to a more normal level of activity following an exceptional performance last year.

"We remain optimistic about the long term future and will continue to invest in new product and strengthening our distribution network."

At 8:38am: [LON:CFX] Colefax Group PLC share price was -30p at 342.5p

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