James Halstead continues to trade in line with budgets against competitive headwinds, shareholders at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Geoffrey Halstead, who is stepping down after 17 years as chairman, will say: 'I am very proud of how the company has grown over that period which has been achieved by a first class team effort and I am leaving the company in very good hands.

Halstead - who has worked within the group for 70 years, 55 as a group director, will add: 'I congratulate Anthony Wild on his new role as chairman and Stephen Hall on becoming the senior independent director and also welcome Russell Whiting and Michael Halstead to the board.

'I would also like to record my great appreciation of the contribution made by my fellow director Eberhard Lotz who is also stepping down today and wish him a long and happy retirement.

'It is pleasing that the board is once again proposing a record dividend of 9.25p and given that an abundance of new ranges and designs are being launched in 2018 I remain confident in the prospects of the company going forward."

At 9:54am: (LON:JHD) James Halstead PLC share price was +13.38p at 461.38p