Grocer Heron Frozen Foods has revealed a slide in its full-year pre-tax profits.

In the year to December 27, 2008, profit on ordinary activities before tax fell from £6m to £5.3m, having soared 33.3 per cent the year before.

However, total sales at the Yorkshire-based retailer jumped 17 per cent to £123.9m during the period.

The retailer said in documents filed at Companies House that it had “continued to perform well in the past 12 months, increasing both turnover and profit before exceptional items”, with gross profit rising 21 per cent to £18m.

Heron Frozen Foods said it is developing a new distribution centre and head office at Melton, East Yorkshire. Both should be operational “some time” in the current financial year and the retailer said they would allow it to reduce costs and expand the business “significantly in the medium term”.

The retailer added: “By remaining flexible and responsive to market conditions the directors remain optimistic about the future. The company has expanded itscurrent operations into new sites and has developed existing sites to drive footfall and turnover forward still further.”

Earlier this year Retail Week revealed Heron Frozen Foods had acquired between 15 and 20 former Woolworths stores as it seeks to expand the business.