A return to top line growth and selling more higher margin oak furniture helped manufacturer and distributor Devonshire to its highest profits since 2008 in the year to end July.

Sales climbed 21.2 per cent — or £2.4m — to £13.9m for the Bideford producer, which is best known for its pine product line.

However, the company said increased sales of the oak species were behind a 170 basis point improvement in gross margin to 24.8 per cent in 2013–14.

Together with higher sales, pre-tax earnings for the business snowballed eight-fold as a result to £1.35m, its highest since the £1.6m recorded on sales of £18.1m in 2007–08.

Privately owned Devonshire incorporated a new holding company in June 2013. Its maiden consolidated accounts — for the 13 month period to end July last year — recorded profits of £1.37m on turnover of £15m, with year-end net cash of £888k and net assets of £9.5m.