Pre-tax profits rise
ScS Upholstery has bucked the trend in home furnishing with an increase in its dividend and pre-tax profit this year.

The sofa retailer reported a rise in like-for-like sales order intake of 4 per cent and pre-tax profit rise to£17.2 million for the year to September 30, from£14 million the previous year.

Chairman Mike Browne said: 'We have further strengthened our position as a major specialist sofa retailer, despite the difficult year generally for the retail sector. We believe we are well placed to take advantage of opportunities within the market and continue growing the business.'

'This performance is in part attributable to the significantly higher spend on advertising during the period than in previous years, as well as some of our competitors exiting the market,' said the group in a statement.

Numis retail analyst Steve Davies said: 'The company has also said that orders are up 14 per cent in the first seven weeks of the New Year, which is astonishing given the weakness of other household goods retailers and just shows how much difference a good management team can make in this sector.'

The group proposed a final dividend of 10.5p a share, giving a total dividend of 16.5p a share for the year. Last year this figure was 14.0p.

Selling space was boosted by 10 per cent over the period as nine stores opened.