Floor and fabric supplier increases profit by 19% despite increase in costs of raw materials.

Materials supplier Low & Bonar has increased profits by 19% to £12m for the year ended 30 November 2004. Turnover also increased by 5% to £201.7m and dividends rose 7% to 4.50p.

The company’s floors division reported sales growth for the first time in five years and increased turnover by 10% to £83.1m. The yarns and fabrics arm, which makes carpet backing and fibres for cementitious products, grew operating profit by over 50%.

Chairman Duncan Clegg said: “I am pleased to report that 2004 continued the Group’s progress started in 2003, particularly against a demanding backdrop of escalating raw material prices and subdued markets.”

“Looking ahead, though we expect the first half to be impacted by growth-related investments and continued high raw material pricing, our expectations are for continued progress in 2005.”

Clegg said that progress would be driven by continued organic sales growth and improved productivity as well as acquisitions in the Floros and Yarns & Fabrics Divisions.