Irish grocer Dunnes has reported pre-tax profit in its UK arm halved last year as increased costs and a depressed economy hit performance.

Pre-tax profits fell to £12.3m while sales fell 6.5% to £166.3m in the year to January 28, the Irish Times reported.

Dunnes has 23 stores in Northern Ireland, six in England and five in Scotland in addition to its 116 store Irish chain.

The company said in its annual accounts filed to Companies House that the fall in profits was due to an increase in costs from £43.4m to £47.3m.

In Ireland, Dunnes is the second largest grocery player behind Tesco with a market share of 21.6%. Group turnover is estimated at €3.8bn.