AlanWardGroup profits jumped 56 per cent for Alan Ward despite a relatively stable year for its furniture and furnishings retail division.

The privately owned group — which besides furniture retailing lets 12 apartments to private tenants and runs a five-site storage business — posted pre-tax earnings of £1.1m in the year to end March.

Consolidated turnover inched up 0.2 per cent to £13.7m, and by 3.3 per cent to £14.1m including other operating income. It generated a net £1.5m cash from operations (2013: £420k) and cut year-end net debt in half to £1.2m.

Its furniture retail business — which has stores in Shrewsbury, Chester, Winsford and Newcastle-under-lyme — saw revenue rise 1.3 per cent to £11.9m with EBITDA up 23 per cent to £124k.

The furniture division’s figures include rent and management charges paid to the holding company of £640k (2013: £700k) which added back in leaves earnings broadly flat year-on-year.