First-half pre-tax profits at workwear supplier Alexandra rose 9.4 per cent to £1.56 million as the company's global procurement strategy and withdrawal from manufacturing took hold. "Overall, operating margins improved from 5.5 per cent to 6.1 per cent," chief executive Julian Budd said in a statement. He added: "Selling prices remain under pressure but, with the growing strength of our market position combined with our purchasing expertise and the benefit of further cost savings, we are confident of improving margins."