vitafoamBritain’s bed manufacturers helped drive another top line lift at North West foam giant Vita Cellular Foams in the year to end December.

The Middleton based group said continued growth within the comfort business including strong demand from the bedding sector helped 2014 sales rise 6.8 per cent to £111.3m. Sales had risen 5.2 per cent in 2013.

VCF also said it had seen a strong recovery in demand for its construction and industrial businesses in the latest reported period.

UK sales were up 7.6 per cent to £95.6m while revenue from customers in Continental Europe rose 4.5 per cent to £14.5m. Sales to the rest of the world declined fractionally to £1.2m

Gross margin increased 70 basis points to 18.8 per cent though rising admin costs meant operating profit fell 3.5 per cent to £4.8m.

Pre-tax earnings climbed 37 per cent to £7.2m as VCF recorded a £2.3m gain on the liquidation of its subsidiary Advanced Foam Products Inc, having previously written down the value of its investment to zero.