Evans Cycles pre-tax profit slumped from £4m to £941,000 in the year to October 30.

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson, who joined in May, said Evans invested a “significant” amount in IT systems. It invested in its supply chain network, stores and staff.

Increased promotional activity also hit profits. “It’s a competitive marketplace,” said Wilkinson. “We have to be sharp on prices and match leading competitors.”

Wilkinson declined to give any details on current trading or whether profits would bounce back in the present year, but said: “We’re satisfied with the progress made.”

Turnover increased from £73m to £84m in the year. Wilkinson declined to give a like-for-like figure. Evans has been expanding its distribution network, and “bringing talent into the business”, according to Wilkinson. It will also relaunch its website in the coming weeks.

Wilkinson said: “The top line grew and we invested in future growth” He said cycling is proving popular as a way to commute to work, and as a sport.

Evans, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, enjoyed online sales growth of 15.3% in the period. The 43-store retailer acquired independent bike shop Wizz Bike in Brentford in west London. Wilkinson did not rule out further acquisitions.