Boden plans to open two more UK stores next year and is launching in China despite a dip in annual profits last year. 

The fashion retailer’s pre-tax profits slid to £23.9m in the year to December 31, 2015, down from £32m the prior year.

Sales edged up from £280.7m to £283m in the year. 

Chief executive Julian Granville said 2015 had been a “challenging” year. But he added: “We were pleased to see improvement in the second half of the year after a disappointing first half.”

Boden said the first half downturn was caused by a “poor womenswear range”.

A spokesperson for the retailer said: “Our first half womenswear Collections did not sell as well as we had hoped and average customer spend reduced slightly in response to tougher market conditions.

”We have reviewed how we engage with our customer to ensure we provide the right product when they want to buy.

”Also, in line with the market, trade was too reliant on discounting. Second half trading improved and we were particularly pleased to see the UK recovering around the Christmas period.”

The London-headquartered firm has one store already, located near London’s Hanger Lane, which it will refurnish by the end of this year.

It plans to open another two bricks-and-mortar shops in undisclosed locations in 2017. 

Boden will also launch in China via Tmall this month, initially with its Mini Boden range for children. 

The retailer will also launch in the Next Label catalogue this autumn.

Boden said that its autumn collection had been “well received” and that its current trading was “in line with management expectations with further sales growth”. It anticipated that the trading environment would remain difficult throughout this year.

Granville added: “2016 has seen improved growth in new customers and the start of a major capital programme with the construction of a new warehouse in Leicester.”