- Colefax posts a pre-tax profit of GBP3.27m for the six months to the end of October - 13% up on last time. But it expects trading conditions in H2 to be more challenging.

The group - which trades under five brand names, serving different segments of the soft furnishings marketplace - said sales were up 1.5% at GBP37.98m but flat on a constant currency basis. Earnings per share up 19% to 21.6p (2014: 18.1p). The interim dividend is increased by 5% to 2.20p per share.

Chairman David Green said: "The Group's pre-tax profits for the first half have increased by 13% to GBP3.27m on sales up 1.5% to GBP37.98m with results helped by a stronger dollar against the pound.

"The recent trends in our two major markets, the US and the UK, suggest we are entering a period of more challenging market conditions. Together with the turbulence in global markets that has marked the start of 2016, we are cautious about prospects for the remainder of the year. The Group has a strong balance sheet with net cash of GBP7.8m and we will continue to invest with confidence in our diverse portfolio of brands."

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