F Hinds’ profits dipped in its last financial year as the jeweller grappled with maintaining margin in the face of rising input costs.

Despite the jeweller’s focus on cost control, pre-tax profits fell 11% to £2.85m in its year to March 27 against a 9% sales rise to £57.7m.

In documents filed at Companies House, the retailer said: “The continuing increase in the price of precious metals remains a concern for jewellery businesses with the need to maintain margins, while providing a reasonably priced product is becoming increasingly problematic.”

The jeweller said this was offset slightly by customers selling unwanted jewellery through the cash-for-gold scheme it launched late in 2009.

Trade held up well throughout the year at the chain, it said, apart from the vital Christmas period when the snow took its toll on sales.

Since the year end, the jeweller said sales have been flat year on year. The jeweller pushed ahead with store refurbishments over the year, along with improvements in visual merchandise.

Further investment is being ploughed into its website, which the company said was becoming increasingly important.

According to Retail Week Knowledge Bank, the family-owned jeweller has a network of 110 shops.