Exports boosted flooring group Avon Valley Holdings in a year that saw it divest its three-store carpet retail business.

The disposal of the Wilton Carpets and Flooring retail company — which trades as Wilton Flooring — was flagged in just filed accounts by the privately-owned Wiltshire based group.

Wilton Flooring trades from three stores; at Eastleigh, Salisbury and Hedge End, generates annual sales of about £2 million and is now owned through a vehicle controlled by Christopher Brammall.

Mr Brammall is one of three equal shareholders in Avon Valley, which continues to operate its Alternative Flooring division and and Wilton Carpets' manufacturing business.

Including the retail division, group sales advanced 1.9 percent to £17.4 million in the year to September 2, 2017, with exports boosting its top line. This included a three-fold rise in sales outside Europe to £1.27 million, with the U.S. a growth market.

Pretax profit fell 16 percent to £1.1m, which it attributed to higher employment costs and higher depreciation charges following the purchase of a high-speed loom in the Wilton factory in the prior year.

"The new loom marks a significant technological advance for the group and the industry as a whole, and we remain optimistic about the potential this new equipment gives us going forward," the company said.

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