Hopes that UK sales were picking up were short-lived for Walker Greenbank, the luxury furnishings supplier, after sales here worsened in the past six weeks.

At its AGM in June, it claimed it had seen an improving sales trend in the UK after an earlier 6.0 percent decline in brand sales here for the first four and half months of its financial year.

Today, the company — owner of brands including Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co and Harlequin — revealed the situation was actually bleaker, with UK brand sales declining 6.8 percent over the full six month period to July 31.

Brand sales were worth more than 80 percent of Walker Greenbank's circa £109 million turnover last year*, though only just over half of brand sales (£48.4m) were generated in the UK.

Its smaller business segments, licensing and manufacturing, both made gains in the first half of the year, with interim results to be reported in October.

* year to January 31, 2018