NEW store openings have helped SCS Upholstery record pre-tax profits of £5.4m, up 19 per cent.

The Sunderland-based furniture retailer, which has outlets across the North-East, saw turnover rise by 48 per cent to £46.4m

In the past year it invested in 11 new stores to increase its selling space by 61 per cent.

In the current financial year it plans to open another six branches.

MD David Knight said: "This has been the most exciting and challenging year in the Group's history. Our dedicated and focused management team has enabled us to open eleven stores and two distribution centres whilst still producing record earnings per share at 21 per cent up on last year.

"Margins remain strong as the board continues to manage for profit."

"The group continues to benefit from the accelerated expansion programme with total sales order intake for the first nine weeks of the current financial year very substantially higher than the same period last year.

"With our expectation of opening a further six new stores in this financial year the board remains confident of reporting another record year."