Furniture Village has defied the gloom in the big-ticket sector by posting rising sales in its full-year figures, but the retailer remains cautious on prospects.

Despite a pre-tax profit drop from £5.6m to £3.7m in the year to April 3, 2011 – as it invested in promotions and its staff – Furniture Village clocked up turnover of £181m, compared with £172m the previous year.

In documents filed at Companies House, chairman Jim Hodkinson said the furniture specialist’s internal Change for the Better programme, launched in 2010, had increased efficiencies and improved customer service through better training.

He reported that work done to improve margin meant that the retailer was able to “accommodate a degree of product-cost pressures, deterioration in the value of sterling and significant increases in promotional price-focused competition” over the year.

Hodkinson said Furniture Village was benefiting from customers seeking out “retailers that they can trust” in the tough climate.

However, he remained cautious and noted: “The past year has been one in which we appear to have traded somewhat better than many of our competitors and yet we will not be lulled into a false sense of security. The year we are entering is likely to be as challenging as any the sector has faced.”

The retailer opened three stores in the period and has put together a “target list” of further potential sites.

No comment was available from Furniture Village.