BUTCHERY chain Crawshaw reported a 20 per cent increase in annual pre-tax profits to £1.2m, but said like-for-like sales fell four per cent over the past 10 weeks following strong sales the year before.
The Rotherham-based firm said like-for-like sales rose five per cent in the year to January 31 and total sales rose 17 per cent to £24.6m.
Chairman Richard Rose said: “Like-for-like sales started the year lower than last year which is in line with expectation given the exceptional growth from the comparable period last year.
“Each and every one of our stores were profitable during the year under review and this gives us much confidence in the scalability of our model.”
He said that short-term profits “will be held in check for a while”as the group invests in the business.
Last week, the group announced the £4m acquisition of 11 butchers’ shops in the North West.
Crawshaw has ambitious plans to open up to 200 stores over the next eight years, transforming it from a small regional player to a nationwide chain.