Booths has recorded higher losses and lower sales as costs and storm Desmond took a toll.

Booths’ annual loss climbed to £14.8m in the year to April 1 – up from £6.3m the previous year – the Evening Standard reported.

The grocer’s sales fell 4.3% to £263.4m, partly as a result of damage to stores during Storm Desmond in 2015.

Booths also cited competition, rental costs for new, larger stores and the impact of the national living wage as contributors towards the loss.

The performance is likely to fuel concerns about the family-owned retailer, which is thought to be seeking a buyer.

Booths has not confirmed that a new owner is being sought.