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Sanderson owner upbeat over profits

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Wallpaper brands owner Walker Greenbank has reported record autumn sales and profits

The owner of wallpaper brands Sanderson and Harlequin has reported record autumn sales and profits as more households look to improve their homes.

Walker Greenbank, which also owns fabric and wallpaper brands Morris & Co and Zoffany, said pre-tax profits for the year to January 2011 will be ahead of market forecasts following the strong season.

The Milton Keynes-based group, which sells its brands in John Lewis among other stores, said mid-market products such as Sanderson’s Vintage wallpaper collection launched this year, were particularly successful.

Walker Greenbank, which targets the mid to upper end of the premium market, has showrooms in Chelsea Harbour in London and at the D&D Building in New York.

Chief executive John Sach said homeowners were investing more in decoration as they opt to stay in and entertain guests rather than dine out at restaurants.

He said: “More people are staying at home and eating out less, people entertain at home, so they invest in interior furnishings.”

Mr Sach said Walker Greenbank continued to invest in the design of products throughout the recession and this has paid off.

“We have a lot of products to offer and we’re servicing our customer needs well,” he said.

He added that Walker Greenbank is looking to expand overseas, including in China, where he will travel in the coming weeks.

Looking ahead, Mr Sach said the company would be nearly debt-free by the end of the year and he expects profitability and investment to be sustained.

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