Commercial flooring manufacturer and distributor James Halstead expects first half profits to be in line with forecasts after turnover increased by some 3-4%, boosted by a confident December.

A pre-close trading statement ahead of the interim results for the half-year to 31 December noted that chairman Geoffrey Halstead's annual general meeing update on 2 December had commented that trading to date had been challenging and that making progress against the comparative half-year would be difficult.

In addition, the chairman commented on raw material shortages and price increases following supply chain problems.

Today's update said that turnover had increased by some 3-4%, boosted by a confident December and profit was in line with expectations.

It said the raw material issues had ameliorated to a degree and major retailer contracts continue with customers such as Vodafone, Co-op Retail, Specsavers and Premier Inn. Confidence in the full year was unchanged and remained positive.