Apparel accessories and identity products supplier Thomas Walker expects to see continuing progress in its performance during the forthcoming year, despite a 40 per cent drop in its share prices.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, the company's chairman said share prices have fallen across the entire market and are not an individual reflection of the business' performance. Indeed, the company's relative optimism is backed by "encouraging" results from retail customers such as Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Matalan.

Thomas Walker says it will continue with the twin track approach of automation in its UK production and where this is not feasible, by manufacturing in South East Asia he said. Range rationalisation, further automation and tighter stock and financial control also feature among the firm's ongoing objectives.

Despite increasing competition in the Identity Products market the company believes this business will continue to grow in the medium term. It plans to enhance its presence in Continental Europe by setting up distribution Networks.