Shares in Stanley Gibbons were up on the FTSE AIM All Share in morning trading after the stamp and collectibles company reported a rise in sales and pre-tax profit in the full year ended 31 December 2010.

Sales during the year rose 13 per cent to £26.4 million, the group said, while adjusted pre-tax profit increased eight per cent to £4.5 million.

The group said it would be increasing its total dividend for the year 10 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

During the year the group spent £1.7 million on capital expenditure and gave £1.3 million back to shareholders, leaving the group with cash funds of £1.8 million at the end of the year, down from £3.1 million the year before.

Looking ahead the group said that it believed China to be a key growth market, adding that it was looking to increase its presence in the USA.

In addition the company said it expected to see a one off benefit from the Royal Wedding this year, and a similar benefit next year from the London Olympics, thanks to the sale of commemorative collectible products.

Martin Bralsford, Chairman of Stanley Gibbons, said, "The strong performance of the Group in 2010 and a positive start to 2011 is a result of the enduring strength in the market of collectibles, at the same time as important elements of our strategy come to fruition.

"Whilst the persistent political and economic turmoil causes a frustrating constraint on the Company's return to shareholders in terms of share price, they also represent a key opportunity to our businesses.

"The uncertainty, together with prevailing low interest rates, generate a desire amongst wealthy individuals to own tangible assets as a means of wealth protection and steady capital growth."

Mr Bralsford added, "We have invested in our management structure, IT systems and marketing to recruit new high net worth clients over the preceding two to three years. Now, we have a much stronger platform to exploit the large number of opportunities to build our market share in our traditional and other collectible markets. The launch of our long awaited new websites represents a key milestone.

"As a result of the above, your Board has confidence in the Company's future and the delivery of good returns to Shareholders."

By 11:00 shares in Stanley Gibbons were up 0.65 per cent on the FTSE AIM All Share to 154.00 pence per share.