- Since the last trading statement at Safestyle's AGM on 18 May 2017, the company continued to trade in line with earlier months, with order intake levels continuing up 2% year on year.

The company expected to report marginal revenue growth in the first half of 2017, with reduced profits. Given the uncertain market conditions and weaker consumer confidence, we consider it prudent to expect only modest revenue growth again in the second half of the year.

Within this overall figure, however, the trend from week to week during Q2 was more volatile than we have experienced for a long time.

Furthermore, FENSA statistics for the five month period to the end of May 2017 show a market decline in volume terms in excess of 10%. Against this backdrop of patchier consumer demand, it is clear that Safestyle continues to significantly outperform the market and to increase share.

This would result in profits for the year being lower than previously anticipated and broadly in line with 2016. Cash flow continued to be strong and we had net cash of £17.7 million at 30 June 2017 (30 June 2016: £23.6 million), the year on year reduction reflecting the investment in our new production facilities and the payment of a special dividend in July 2016.

Steve Birmingham, CEO of Safestyle UK, said: "Despite the difficult market conditions we have increased our order intake in the first half and significantly grown our market share.

"The company has a proven successful model that includes a comprehensive product range, attractive promotional finance and price competitiveness supported by financial strength.

In anticipation of a continuation of the recent weaker trading environment we have taken firm action to reduce our operating costs in the second half.

"Having successfully completed the investment in our enhanced production facility on time and on budget, we are well positioned to take advantage of the upturn in demand when it occurs."

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