A bigger range of floor-coverings has helped Headlam Group overcome the downturn to increase its profits during the first six months.
The Warwickshire firm, which added more than 2,000 new product lines, saw its pretax profits increase by 8.7 per cent to £18.2 million in the six months to June 30.
Chief executive Tony Brewer said he was looking forward to a stronger performance in the next six months, following strong trading in July and August.
He said: "We are particularly encouraged by the positive sales performance of the group in the first six months of 2005 which has continued through July and into August.
"Autumn is a busy selling period for us. People spend money on their houses during this time because in the build up to Christmas they want it looks nice for when their relatives arrive."
The group said its revenues for the period increased by 6.7 per cent to £232.3 million from £217.8million while operating profit jumped by nine per cent to £ 18 . 5 million from £17 million.
The interim dividend was increased by 10.8 per cent from 3.25p to 3.60p.
Mr Brewer said all segments, vinyl, carpet and commercial floorcoverings had boosted their performance during the period.
The improved appearance of vinyl so it looked more like stone or wooden floorings were key factors in its increased appeal, he said.
A total of 2,377 new product lines were launched in the first six months of 2005, with the sales and marketing of these supported by over 555,000 new point of sale items being positioned.
Mr Brewer said: "It has been about all 48 businesses working and improving their market position.
"We increased our like for like sales by 2.8 per cent in a difficult market.
"The retail market across all sectors has been tough in the last six to eight months."
Mr Brewer said the company, which employs around 2,000 people nationwide, would continue with its strategy of moving from leasehold warehouse and distribution centres to purpose built sites where it held the freehold.
As part of this it had opened a £ 14 million site in Tamworth.
The new 158,000sq ft facility offered many advantages, Mr Brewer said.
"It is much bigger and purpose built for us.
"It allows us to increase our capacity and efficiency and move some of our product lines from our base in Coleshill," he added.
He added the firm was still on the look out for acquisitions.
Shares closed up 13p at 433p