James Halstead, the commercial flooring manufacturer and distributor, expects pre-tax profit for the year ended 30 June be ahead of last year, in line with market expectations and at the highest level in the company's history.

In the chairman's statement announced on 31 March, it was reported that the first half year profit before tax was 7.5% ahead of the prior year comparative but early trading in the second half was challenging. Nevertheless, the chairman expressed he had every expectation of continued progress in the second half year. James Halstead, said that during the majority of the year sterling traded at a higher level than the prior year presenting challenges to its overseas turnover, which is in excess of 60% of the total. Just before the year end, late in June this reversed drastically, which bodes well for the new financial year.