Sofa store Land of Leather has again bucked the downward trend on the high street after revealing a surge in sales in the first half of its financial year.
Sales at its 68 stores - which include branches in Solihull, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Worcester - were up 30 per cent compared with the same six months of last year, despite the "challenging retail environment".
The trend in the second quarter of the period was weaker than the first, but Land of Leather looked optimistically to the January sales which it hopes could account for a third of its annual business.
First-half profits were down in the 26 weeks to October 2 following the cost of adding new stores and enlarging others.
In the company's first set of results since floating on the stock market in July, Land of Leather chairman Roger Matthews said: "Overall the business has traded strongly over this period and in line with market expectations, despite the more challenging trading environment."
Turnover was up 31 per cent from £65.1 million to £85.6 million as like-for-like sales increased seven per cent.
But pretax profits slumped from £4.4 million last year to £ 3.7 million as Land of Leather added five more stores - in Worcester, Limerick, Cork, Dublin and Cardiff - and refurbished a number of others.
The Gravesend, Kent-based company plans to add a further four stores by the end of the financial year.
Mr Matthews forecast annual pretax profits to rise from £12.4 million last year to £14.1 million this year and £16.1 million next year.