The company also announced it was now drawing up plans to upgrade its two older sites, following the successful relocation of its Ossett depot to a larger, more modern site.

Operating profits were £7.5m, down £177,000 from last year, with slightly higher trading margins being offset by higher operating costs. Lathams’ group sales were £143m, 0.4% down on last year, in spite of being ahead by £582,000 at September 30, 2012.

It said trading was difficult in the March quarter, particularly for timber, with some weakness in the joinery sector. But the gross margin per cent was higher as a result of a focus on improving margins on specialist products.