Commercial flooring manufacturer and distributor James Halstead expects profit before tax for the full year ended 30 June to exceed last year.

In the chairman's statement announced on 31 March, it was reported that the first half year had been challenging with turnover only 1.7% ahead of the prior year comparative but that there were improved sales in the period January-March.

This stronger period of trading has continued through April-June and though there has been a strengthening of Sterling this has not impacted on margins due to offsetting factors (principally raw material costs). Inevitably, the strength of sterling will affect the translation of overseas profits.