- Interior decorating business Colefax said Tuesday pre-tax profit jumped 41% in the first half of the year led by 'strong' performance in its decorating division.

For the six months ended 31 October 2018, group pre-tax profit was up 41% to £3.62m and group sales were up 7.8% to £45.38m.

The decorating division saw profit swell to £0.738m from £0.213m a year earlier, and sales increased 61% to £7.1m.  Decorating division sales for the full year, however, were expected below the 'exceptional' performance last year, the company said.

The core fabric division saw sales rise 1.0% to £36.89m.

The interim dividend was raised by 4% to 2.50p a share.

'The Group has delivered a positive first half performance against a weakening trading environment in most of our major markets,' said David Green, Chairman.

'In our core US market we continue to benefit from the strength of the US Dollar but the confidence that we saw at the start of the year has slowed recently and we are therefore more cautious about growth. In the UK trading remains challenging but could improve quickly if there is a satisfactory resolution to the current high level of Brexit uncertainty.'

At 9:45am: [LON:CFX] Colefax Group PLC share price was 0p at 520p

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