Carpet-maker Victoria is poised to sign a conditional deal to sell its six-acre sports ground in Kidderminster with three would-be buyers lined up.

One of them could develop a new sports centre.

It is negotiating alongside a hotel operator and a pub and restaurant company to under-take a project to develop the site that has not been used by Victoria for sporting purposes for four years.

Whitbread never exercised an option to buy the site, but this fell away in January this year and Victoria put it back on the market.

"There would be an enhanced sporting function," said Alan Bullock, Victoria's managing director.

"Previously it was used only by Victoria teams. We are hoping for planning consent later this year.

"It is in our books at £80,000. We are hoping for not less than £1 million.

"We want to invest that £1 million in Kidderminster to develop our business and underpin the people's jobs."

Mr Bullock was presenting results for the year to April 1, when Victoria faced tough and competitive markets in the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Despite that, its adjusted profit rose to £2.01 million from £1.7 million - after closure and restructuring costs of £188,000 in 2006 and £1.31 million in 2005 on sales six per cent ahead at £52.29 million. "We are not too dissatisfied because we were ten per cent higher than most forecasts for us," Mr Bullock commented.

The shares jumped 101/2p to 2061/2p, 8.9 times the year's adjusted earnings, where an unchanged dividend of 11.5p gives a twice-covered yield of 5.6 per cent.

Revenues from Victoria's continuing UK and Irish operations were seven per cent higher in a market down by as much as ten per cent, Mr Bullock said.

One helpful feature was the success of one big customer, the John Lewis Partnership, where sales of Victoria's products rose by nearly 20 per cent.

But Mr Bullock saw no improvement so far from the recovery of the housing market. "There is no evidence at this stage of consumers returning to the high street in the way they were in the past," he warned.

Bob Gilbert, Victoria's chairman added: "We expect the markets in both the UK and Australia to remain subdued.

"However your directors are confident that the business will continue to deliver growth in both sales and profits and that the group is well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and any upturn in activity when it occurs."

Mr Bullock said he sees no need for more closures or restructuring.

"We have eliminated the area of weakness, the Axminster weaving," he said. "I see no reason for any negativity."