Profits at specialist electricals retailer Maplin flatlined last year in the wake of punishing trading conditions.

Maplin’s pre-tax profits came in at £35.7m for the 53 weeks to January 1 – a period one week longer than the previous year, when it recorded a profit of £35.5m. Sales rose from £203.7m to £213.1m.

Maplin, owned by private equity group Montagu, has been up for sale since last year but no deal has yet been done.

Maplin increased its average transaction value last year, when new stores compensated for like-for-like sales falls at its existing network and over the internet and mail order, accounts filed at Companies house showed.

Store sales rose 6% in total year-on-year but fell 3.5% like-for-like. Online sales slid 3.8% “in the face of lower consumer confidence and tough competition”.

Chairman Keith Pacey reported: “The internet channel is very mature, having been transactional for over 10 years, but is highly leveraged and a very profitable channel. Work will continue to develop the site and the ecommerce offer.”

He described Maplin’s overall trading performance as “reasonable in the context of a very difficult retail environment.”

He said: “The biggest risk to the business in the foreseeable future remains a continued downturn in consumer spending which would impact on the planned sales growth.

“However the company is extremely well positioned to withstand a  continued downturn owing to its high return on sales and excellent cash generation, which enables it to continue investing in the business and growing the store network.”