Floorcoverings bellwether Ball & Young made the most of demand from the better end of the market as sales climbed for a third successive year.

The company — part of the Vita group and owner of the Cloud 9 underlay brand — grew sales by 3.7 per cent to £31.8m in the year to end December.

Sales have been rising since 2011, when revenue totalled under £26m, with Ball & Young attributing the latest rise to an increased customer base in the middle to top end, saying they had embraced the new designs and collections under the Cloud 9 umbrella.

Profits grew strongly, more than doubling to £5.5m at the pre-tax line, driven by a big leap in gross margin, which rose markedly to 32.7pc (2013: 22.6pc). Other costs were in line with the previous year.

To read the full story: