Independent grocer Booths nudged up pre-tax profits and like-for-like sales last year.

The Lancashire-based food retailer, which has stores in the north of England, disclosed that pre-tax profit increased by £600,000 to £7.5m in the year to April 4.

Like-for-likes rose 0.6%. Operating profit remained largely unchanged at £9.7m, while total sales rose 4.3% to £254m, according to Companies House documents.

The grocer reported that the severity of the economic downturn “spooked” shoppers and last autumn it had experienced a significant downturn in consumer spend.

As a result, the retailer launched a new value range of products, which was supported by an ad campaign in time for the festive period. Chairman Edwin Booth said in the accounts: “The introduction of the value ranges has been a great success with the company now enjoying some strong growth.”

In September last year Booths signed a trading alliance with Waitrose, and the accounts said “so far the results have been impressive”.

The retailer has continued to develop its website, which now includes a customer notebook enabling shoppers to leave recipe tips for other users. It is opening its first big city store in the Media City development in Salford - the BBC’s new Northern home.

Its site had a difficult year because its principal carrier Amtrak went into administration in summer last year. New distribution agreements were made, but early this year the company responsible for relaunching the website also went into administration.

The retailer said work has just concluded to launch the site to market, and it is confident the more “customer friendly” site will be well received.

In the accounts, the retailer said “there is no doubt that trading conditions will remain tough for some time to come” but the “business has been strong with sales growth in excess of 6% year to date”.