Harvey Nichols has posted a pre-tax loss and flat sales as refurbishments at its Knightsbridge flagship bit into its bottom line.

The luxury department store retailer recorded a £6.7m loss in the year to April 1 against a pre-tax profit of £3m the previous year.

The retailer’s Knightsbridge store revamp hindered its profitability and turnover, which was flat year on year at £194m.

Harvey Nichols’ EBITDA before exceptional costs plunged 39% year on year to £7.3m during the period.

The department store chain’s flagship revamp is ongoing, but the refurbishment of its ground floor, which included a beauty lounge and fine jewellery room, was completed last November.

The retailer said that since re-opening, its ground floor has recorded strong sales growth, with its beauty offer “significantly outperforming” the wider market.

Harvey Nichols will kick off the revamp of its first floor, which houses womenswear international designers, contemporary collections and designer shoes, in the spring.

Group chief executive Stacey Cartwright said: “This was a challenging year for the group as we were undertaking the most demanding phase of our Knightsbridge store refurbishment.

“We are delighted to have completed the full refurbishment of the ground floor and have received excellent customer and industry reaction to our unique offer across beauty, accessories and fine jewellery.”