Operating profits at James Halstead, the AIM listed manufacturer and international distributor of commercial floor coverings, rose by 5.1% to ã21.6m in the six months to the end of December.

Revenues were higher at ã117.2m - an increase of 5.7% - and pre-tax profits rose by 5.3% to ã21.4m. The interim dividend is increased to a record 3.142p - an increase of 4.7%.

Chief executive Mark Halstead, commented: "After 100 years of manufacturing, 67 years as a quoted company and in our 40th year of increased dividend I am reminded of the famous Kipling quote "gardens are not made by sitting in the shade". We have grown and prospered and I have confidence in the full year result".