Hillarys profits soar on back of record sales lift

Window blinds specialist Hillarys has celebrated a 38 per cent year-on-year sales rise for the three weeks to December 22 - the retailer's best-ever Christmas performance.

Hillarys, which has 15 showrooms and an 850-strong network of local agents, also recorded a record operating profit of£10.4 million - up 26 per cent - on sales 11.6 per cent ahead to£78.4 million for the year to September 26, 2003.

The increases followed the successful implementation of a SAP system, enabling customer service improvements; a national advertising push; and the opening of a new factory with greater manufacturing capacity.

Hillarys group finance director James Nicholson described the company's outlook as 'promising'.