UK textiles importer Leeds Group made a profit after tax of GBP134,000 (US$212,000) for the six months ended 31 March 2009, down from GBP315,000 in the same period of 2008, on the back of reduced margins.

The company's revenue for the period increased to GBP13.23m, from GBP113m last year. This growth arose from increased sales in our European markets, new sales from its recently established Chinese subsidiary and the effect of the weaker pound when translating overseas results, the company said.

However, the company said the challenging economic climate it operates in led to reduced margins and resulted in the decrease in profitability.

In the light of the difficult economic environment, Hemmers-Itex, the group's sole operating business, has continued to maximise efficiency and reduce costs in order to remain competitive, Leeds said.

The Chinese subsidiary it set up as a strategic move is said to be contributing to the group's profitability.

Given the general expectation that the European economies are unlikely to improve in the short term, the outlook for the remainder of the financial year is likely to remain challenging, Leeds chairman Ewen Wigley added.

In May last year Leeds bought 28.76% of Scottish cashmere firm Dawson International for GBP971,250 (US$1.92m).