Profits rise but timber merchant reports a slowdown since the start of this year.

Arnold Laver Group has increased its pre-tax profit by 28% to £2.8m for the year ended June 2004. Turnover at the timber merchants and building products suppliers also rose to 11% to £88m.

The Group said that it had seen a slowdown since the start of this year. Managing director Andrew Laver said: “The shop fitting industry is not as brisk and, while large construction projects continue, the pipeline would appear to be narrowing.

Arnold Laver said it was responding by investing in £200,000 of new equipment and a new sales, stock and transport software package.

During the year to June 2004 the Group also won Forest Stewardship Council status for the supply of timber products and won a seven-year £27m Sheffield Homes door contract in conjunction with Jeld-wen.

Arnold Laver also reported a 73% increase in kitchen sales and expanded its Timber World network with the acquisition of FJ Reeves.