Vision Express recorded a 6% jump in operating profit to £16.4m last year as it focused on giving customers value for money.
In the year ending December 31, 2012 revenue at the 329-store optical retailer increased 3% to £248m. Like-for-like sales edged up 1%.
In the year, Vision Express opened its second Oxford Street store and launched a bespoke range and personalised fitting service in collaboration with spectacles designer Tom Davies.
Chief executive Jonathan Lawson said Vision Express benefitted from improvements in customer service, quality and value for money to differentiate itself from its high street competitors.
Lawson told Retail Week: “I’m very pleased [with the results].
“I think for me one of the key challenges has not only been to drive sales and profit growth but to drive sustainable growth and now there has been two consecutive years of growth.”
Since year-end Lawson said trading had been “quite encouraging” with like-for-likes up “slightly” against last year.
This year Vision Express has opened two stores, at Hempstead Valley and newly-opened shopping centre Trinity Leeds.
Lawson said Vision Express is now well-placed to open more stores when sites in the right locations and at the right price become available. He added that he has been in open discussions with landlords on a store by store basis to negotiate shorter lease times.
Lawson said it was important that leases are flexible.
“A year is a long time in retail,” said Lawson. “I think it will be another tough year and any growth has to come from competitors and market share.”
He believes the Government could do more to help retailers, including changing the way business rates are calculated to make it a fairer system, so they can invest in the business and employ more people.
This year Vision Express will also be focusing more on its online business which delivered a 20% surge in customers booking appointments online last year.
Last week Vision Express launched an exclusive range designed by TV chef Heston Blumenthal across its stores. The range has already become the number one selling brand at Vision Express and the fastest selling product launch at the retailer ever.