Walker Greenback records annual rise in profits and sales

Luxury interior furnishings group Walker Greenback unveiled an increase in annual profits boosted by sales in the US and strong performance of new brands Scion and Sanderson Home.

Luxury interior furnishings group Walker Greenback unveiled an increase in annual profits boosted by sales in the US and strong performance of new brands Scion and Sanderson Home.

Adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to January 31st 2013 came to £6.38m, up 11.7% from £5.72m in 2012.

Sales increased 2.3% to £75.7m, buttressed by a 17.6% growth in the US.

Harlequin, a brand of fabrics and wall coverings, was the group's biggest seller in the US as sales rose 39.4% year-on-year.

In the UK, the group's largest market, sales increased 2.5% despite challenging trading conditions as a result of solid manufacturing performance.

However, a tough a market environment in the Eurozone saw sales in the region fall 9.4%.

Internationally, the company's new product launches Scion and Sanderson helped to drive sales.

Scion products include fabrics and wallpapers while Sanderson sells home accessories including tableware, linen and toiletries.

Adjusted earnings per share rose 14.6% to 9.41p per share. Cash inflow from operating activities came to £5.8m compared to £4.28 a year earlier, reflecting robust operating profits and investments in products.

The group invested capital expenditure of £3.12m, up from £2.54m the year before.

Nevertheless, the firm had net funds for the first time since 2000 of £1.2m at year-end compared with a net debt of £0.67m a year ago.

A final dividend of 1.25p per share was recommended, a 25% increase on the prior year.

"The current financial year has started well. In the first 11 weeks, our UK manufacturing base has performed strongly and our brand sales are in line with the strong comparator period last year," said Chairman, Terry Stannard.

"We are excited by our new product launches, including the second collection from the Scion brand, and by the opportunities to develop our business internationally. We look forward with confidence to the year ahead."

RD

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