Walker Greenbank lifted by US sales surge

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The Independent Online

Sales surged at the upmarket British wallpaper manufacturer Walker Greenbank last year as the US housing market recovered.

"We are selling a quintessentially English look to the States," said its chief executive, John Sach. "Down the East coast it is our classic designs from Sanderson and Morris, while Florida and the West Coast go for the more modern Harlequin and our newest design Scion. US sales rose 18 per cent last year."

The US is now Walker Greenbank's largest market after the UK, where sales rose 2.5 per cent. Across the group pre-tax profits rose 11.7 per cent to £6.4m and sales were up 2.3 per cent at £75.7m. The final dividend for the year rises 25 per cent to 1.25p a share.

Scion, which was launched in February 2012, clocked up sales of almost £1m in its first 10 months. The brand includes rugs, bed linen and towels as well as wallpaper and fabrics.

Mr Sach said sales were also up in the relatively small markets of China, India and Brazil and the company is launching highly textured papers aimed at the top end of the Russian and Chinese markets this year.