Flooring giant Headlam said its UK operation outperformed the market in 2015 as profits jumped by almost a fifth.

The wholesale group — which now runs 56 UK distributors following the acquisition of Midlands firm Matty’s last year — made £35.6m before tax on group revenue up 3.0 per cent to £654.1m in the year to end December.

UK revenue rose 4.9 per cent to £575.3m with like-for-likes up 3.9 per cent, outscoring the wider floorcoverings market by 50 basis points, Headlam claimed.

Cash generation helped lift net funds by £19.3m to £43.9m at the 31st December balance sheet date, with the Tamworth headquartered group proposing to return cash to shareholders by way of a special dividend next month.

CEO Tony Brewer said: “2015 was another year of revenue, profit and market share growth at Headlam and a year of significant cash generation. Given that the current cycle of large capital expenditure is more or less complete, with just the construction of the Ipswich distribution facility remaining, the board has elected to return cash to shareholders by way of a special dividend of 6.0 pence per share."

He added: "Trading in the current year has started well, with like-for-like growth in the UK of 6.3 per cent during the first eight weeks of the year. We are confident that the group will continue to perform well during the year ahead."