James Halstead reports ‘modest’ pick-up in demand

INTERNATIONAL commercial flooring manufacturer and supplier James Halstead says it is seeing a modest improvement in trading at home and abroad.

The Radcliffe-based company, whose brands include Polyflor, is holding its annual meeting toda.

Chairman, Mr Geoffrey Halstead, will update investors on progress five months into the group’s new financial year, saying: “In my report on the results for the year ended June 30 I noted that the seeds of recovery were patchy but apparent and I am pleased to be able to report growth in turnover both in the UK and in our overseas markets, albeit modest.”

Trading in Central Europe and in particular France are continuing to grow with Australia and New Zealand on a par with last year, he states.

Regarding cost pressures, Mr Halstead says: “Raw material supply and input prices are steady with overheads under close scrutiny, as they should be, in these challenging times.

“December is always an unpredictable month but as we stand today I believe our first half results will be in line with management expectations.”

The group’s cash balances are “solid” underpinning the 6p dividend paid this week, up  9.1% on last year’s annual payment, he added.

As well as investing heavily in research and development in the UK, James Halstead has been investing overseas too. In Germany a new warehouse and training facility has been opened, in New Zealand there is a new warehouse, while in Australia, a bespoke recycling facility to improve operational sustainability has been opened.