Topps Tiles sales inched up in its first half, but the business warned it was taking a “cautious view” of the remainder of the year.

The retailer posted a 0.6% like-for-like gain during the 26 weeks to March 31, despite sales falling 2.2% during a “challenging” second quarter.

Total half-year revenues came in at £109.4m, a 2.6% increase year-on-year.

Second-quarter trading showed a sharp decline from the preceding period, when Topps delivered a 3.4% like-for-like increase.

The flooring specialist blamed short-term weather factors in February and March, plus the earlier fall of Easter, for the second-quarter slowdown, but admitted there had been a “softening of the underlying market”.

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “While the business has responded well with a performance ahead of the overall tile market, we are retaining a cautious view of market conditions for the remainder of the year.”

Topps has pledged to sustain investment in its strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’. This will include store upgrades across its 376 outlets, with the introduction of design advice areas to all shops during the next two years.

Ecommerce will also remain a focus for the business. During its first half, Topps launched a new website to support its Parkside division, which it aims to develop into a leading brand in the commercial tile market.