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* 2010 pretax profit 25.0 mln stg vs f'cst 24.1 mln stg
* Revenue 535.7 mln stg, up 0.4 pct
* Dividend 12.4 pence, up 12.7 pct
* Says made positive start to 2011
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - European floorcoverings distributor Headlam (HEAD.L) posted a better than expected 13.3 percent rise in year profit, hiked its dividend 12.7 percent and said it has made a good start this year.
"We have made a positive start to 2011 and whilst January and February are relatively lower trading months, it does give a good indication to future trading assuming normal seasonality," said Chairman Graham Waldron.
The firm, which distributes floorcoverings to independent retailers and contractors in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland, said on Friday it made a pretax profit of 25.0 million pounds ($40 million) in 2010.
That compares with analysts' average forecast of 24.1 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data, and 22.1 million pounds made in 2009.
Revenue rose 0.4 percent to 535.7 million pounds, with like-for-like revenue in the UK, a market which represents 81 percent of group revenue, also up 0.4 percent.
The firm said the revenue increase was achieved despite reductions in market size in both the UK and Continental Europe.
The company ended the year with net cash of 10.5 million pounds and is paying a dividend of 12.4 pence.
Shares in Headlam closed Thursday at 300 pence, valuing the business at about 249 million pounds.
Last month Carpetright CATVU.L, Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer, warned on profits after a third-quarter sales slump, showing how a weak housing market, tax hikes and government cuts have hit consumer confidence. [ID:nLDE70R0ZM]
(Reporting by James Davey, editing by Julie Crust)