James Halstead - the manufacturer and international distributor of commercial floor coverings - posts a pre-tax profit of GBP23.0m for the six months to the end of December, 7.5% up on last time.

Revenues at GBP114.7 million were down by 2.1% but on a constant exchange rate basis rose by 2.9%. Operating profit rose to GBP23.3 million - an increase of 7.7%and the interim dividend is increased to a record 3.5p - up 11.4%.

Chief executive Mark Halstead said: "We continue to build on the robust performance of the last 15 years and despite having the strength of sterling as a strong headwind to our exports in the first half we have again reported a record profit."