ashleyManorThe independent upholstery group behind the Ashley Manor and Alexander & James brands posted record sales and profits last year though growth slowed.

Group revenue at DM Midlands inched up 0.7 per cent to £58.1m with pre-tax profits rising 5.6 per cent to £2.8m. Both had been up in double-digits the previous year. Gross margin in the latest period climbed by 280 basis points to 30.5 per cent, which was also a record high.

Privately owned DM Midlands consolidates the results of manufacturing division Ashley Manor, import businesses AMX and Alexander & James, and a wholly owned Thai subsidiary. The accounts were filed at Companies House over Christmas, though were signed off last August.

Of group sales, UK revenue was down 0.5 per cent to £56.7m but turnover to customers in the rest of Europe doubled to £1.5m. The sales breakdown within its subsidiary companies was  -3.5 per cent to £21.9m (Ashley Manor) and -1.9 per cent to £34.4m (AMX Design). Its Alexander & James business filed small company accounts back in November.

The group generated a net £1.8m cash from operations (2013: £3.8m) though year-end net funds dipped fractionally to £6m (2013: £6.2m) after capex, tax and dividends.

Its Ashley Manor and Alexander & James brands will both exhibit at next week’s January Furniture Show.