Staffordshire pottery firm Portmeirion has posted a 36 per cent rise in sales after being boosted by the takeover of historic brands Spode and Royal Worcester.

The Stoke-on-Trent-based firm revealed sales of £43.2 million for the year to December 31, compared with £31.8 million the year before.

Pre-tax profits after exceptional items more than doubled, to £3.7 million, on the back of the sales rise.

The company said the “highly successful acquisition” of Spode and Royal Worcester patterns had accounted for 20 per cent of sales.

Non-executive chairman Dick Steele said: “We are extremely pleased with these results, which prove the resilience of the Portmeirion brand in tough times. The acquisition we made in April last year has transformed the prospects of the group and added £1.5 million in revenue over and above the £7 million we said it would.

“The potential of the Spode and Royal Worcester brands is huge and we are especially delighted to be able to produce Blue Italian, which has been in existence for two centuries, again in the UK.

“In the coming year we will continue to develop the brands with the emphasis on design and quality in order to generate long term sales increases. We will continue to drive sales, return on sales and dividend payments.

“While not necessarily an indication of full year performance, revenues for the first two months of the current year have shown a 40 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.”

Portmeirion also revealed that the manufacture of some Spode product has been brought back to the UK, and it had increased its workforce be nine per cent.

It has also become a lot greener – the carbon footprint of Portmeirion is now 47 per cent lower than it was ten years ago