Lighting equipment maker FW Thorpe reported a first-half pretax profit of £4.5 million yesterday and the Redditch firm said it remained cautiously optimistic for the full year.
The latest pretax profit figure was a 26 per cent increase against £3.6 million a year ago while turnover rose to £25.3 million from £23 million.
The company declared a dividend of 3.9 pence a share compared with 3.25 pence year ago.
FW Thorpe added that its troubled unit Sugg Lighting had returned to profitability, making notable trading profits in five out of the first six months of the financial year.
Andrew Thorpe, chairman, said: "This should be the last time that I will need to single out Sugg Lighting for special mention but having lived to its ninth life Sugg, with the changes made at the start of the financial year, has regained strength and credibility to turn in pleasing and notable trading profits."
Mr Thorpe told The Birmingham Post that Sugg had often been a point of discussion by people interested in FW Thorpe and during the past few years it had lost "a fair amount of money".
The company had been given attention and everthing now appeared to be running well.
He said that all group companies had made further progress during the first six months with regard to both turnover and profitability with the exception of Compact Lighting which was suffering mildly due to a slowdown in activity among some of its retail customers.
Compact Lighting at Portsmouth supplies lighting equipment to retail businesses but that market was getting tighter.
"This is due to the present condition of general economics," said Mr Thorpe. "When there is a credit crunch companies tighten their belts and in businesses where refurbishments are planned they are very quick to put those projects on hold and that means it affects lighting."
FW Thorpe does not supply lighting equipment for installation in cars but provides lighting for the plants, particularly in paint shops which are frequently refurbished.
Mr Thorpe said the group was keen to export more of its products, especially since fewer new buildings were being planned.
"We are trying to broaden our base through exports and that gives us something else in our pocket when things tighten-up in UK markets. At one stage nearly 20 per cent of our products went for export but the figure gradually declined to about four per cent.
"At present exports are running at about seven to eight per cent but it gets harder as emerging industrialised countries try to sell into the markets we are seeking out," said Mr Thorpe.
The Thorpe Group has 300 employees at Redditch.
Shares closed up 28p at 510.5p.