SMDiLivPrivately owned fabrics and furnishings group SMD enjoyed strong growth in 2013–14 as its iLiv brand took on greater significance.

The Preston based supplier — which operates in both the consumer and contract markets — grew sales by 3.8 per cent to £20.3m in the year to end September, including a 4.1 per cent uptick in the UK.

Gross margin dipped 10 basis points to 25.7 per cent but higher sales together with falling admin and distribution costs meant pre-tax profits rose 45 per cent to £1.1m.

Last July SMD announced it was relaunching SMD Contracts division as iLiv Contracts, expanding the influence of the iLiv brand across the wider group.

The business generated a net £480k as cash and equivalents ended the year at £1.5m, with the group cutting year-end net debt to £2.5m (2013: £2.8m).

Shareholder funds increased to £5.2m (2013: £4.7m).

Post year-end the group agreed to pay £438k — in six equal payments through the first half of 2015 — for the entire B class of shares held by a minority shareholder.