Family-run jewellery chain F Hinds reported turnover in its last financial year was down 4% to £50.8m as it suffered from poor Christmas trading.

In the 52 weeks to March 29, pre-tax profits plummeted to £990,048  from more than £2.4m in the 53 weeks to March 30 the previous year.

Director Andrew Hinds said he is confident the market is showing an upturn. “We certainly hope we can do better like-for-like this year,” he said. “The year has been better than expected and we have revised up our budgets. It is not a bonanza but it could have been worse.”

In documents filed at Companies House, F Hinds said it started the last financial year strongly, but a significant reduction in takings over Christmas left the retailer with higher than anticipated stock levels early this year. It said that its banks would offer a bigger loan facility if it was required.

Hinds said: “Since our year end we had been slightly down but have been up in the past two months and against weaker comparatives this autumn should be strong.”

In this present financial year F Hinds has opened one new shop – to take its total to 109 stores mainly in the south of England and Wales – in High Wycombe and Hinds said it will open “a handful” more if it can find the right deals.

Hinds said that silver jewellery is continuing to do better in the downturn than gold, as rising gold costs and current fashion trends are driving consumers to cheaper silver products.