Profits at womenswear retailer Hobbs dropped more than a third in the year to January 30 but the chain said it remained confident over future trading.

EBITDA over the year to January 30 fell to £11.8m from £18.8m while sales dropped from £101.6m to £92.9m

According to the Sunday Telegraph, trading has since improved, with revenue rising 10% over the nine months to October 23.

Nicky Dulieu, chief executive at Hobbs said that while trading was extremely challenging across the entire retail sector in 2009, growth over the year to date is set to continue.

Hobbs’s owner, private equity firm 3i, recently ordered a root and branch review of the retailer and appointed corporate adviser Hawkpoint to scrutinise the chain’s balance sheet and conduct consumer insight research.

3i, which controls about 80% of Hobbs via its buyout fund Eurofund IV, is expected to increase its own capital investment in the retailer following the review.