Half year sales across Leekes’ retail stores were up 8 per cent thanks to strong demand for goods linked to the housing market, including furniture.

The privately owned retail and leisure group said six month sales to end September* were up 30 per cent in fitted kitchens, with double-digit growth also seen across furniture departments, conservatories, windows and doors as well as bathrooms.

Leekes operates large home department stores and concessions across the Midlands and Wales, with the wider group also taking in the Vale Resort, a hotel and leisure complex in South Wales.

Retail division md Emma Leeke said its investment of recent years — which has included revamping its Cross Hands store, updating the furniture floors at Melksham, Bilston and Llantrisant, as well as launching its vast Coventry store in 2012 — was paying off.

“We are delighted to see this continuing investment is having a significant effect on both our sales and profitability and positions us perfectly to take advantage of the more active housing market,” she said.

“Our strong performance this year has continued to build with sales in November up by £1m. We are seeing growth across our wide range of categories, including further increases in our upholstery and bed departments, and are delighted to report good dining and bedroom furniture sales growth after a period of level sales.”

EBITDA reached £2.3m for the six-month period, Leekes said, with a £1.5m improvement in profitability against the same time-frame last year.

* Year to end March 2014 accounts aren’t yet available at Companies House.

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