Upmarket fashion retailer Hobbs has revealed full-year pre-tax profits slid from £21.3m to £18.8m, on sales up 3.6 per cent to £101.6m.

Margins during the year - to January 31 - suffered as a result of heavy promotional activity.

Managing director Nicky Dulieu has been promoted to chief executive of the 125-store chain, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Nick Samuel, who used to run the company - which is backed by private equity house 3i - is stepping down as non-executive director “in order to concentrate on his other commitments in the retail industry”.

Online sales grew 86 per cent in the year.

Dulieu said: “In five years we have gone from sales of £30m to sales of £100m. The business is financially strong with low debt levels and strong cash generation, making it well placed to weather the current economic conditions.”

However, she added: “We are finding that the consumer is very much more considered and that impulse buys are not there.”