Airsprung slumps on soft upholstery

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Airsprung Furniture fell 10p to 235p on news of a poor performance in the upholstery division's main subsidiary. A pounds 250,000 bad debt was incurred after a large retail customer went into receivership, writes Alison Eadie.

John Pierce, chief executive, warned that pre-tax profits in the year to March 31 would be the same as last year's record pounds 6m. The market had been expecting pounds 6.5m. Without the problems, market forecasts could have been comfortably exceeded, Mr Pierce said.

The upholstery company, which operates in the lower to mid-market, has suffered intense margin pressure and seen no revival in consumer spending, he said.

Turnover and profits in the beds, pine furniture and fillings divisions increased. The company has sufficient confidence to intend to recommend a final net dividend 5 per cent higher than last year, giving a total 6 per cent higher. Full results will be announced on June 8.

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