The White Company has hailed an uptick in profits and sales despite “tougher trading conditions” in the wider market.

The fashion and homewares business said operating profit increased 2% to £17.6m in the 52 weeks to March 25.

According to figures first seen by The Times, The White Company’s sales advanced at the quicker rate of 7.6% to £198.4m, driven by “solid growth” in its UK stores.

The growth represented a marked slowdown from its previous financial year, when pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items surged 50% to £17.2m, as sales spiked 12.6% to £184.3m.

The White Company opened shops in Liverpool and Chelmsford during 2016/17, bringing its UK store portfolio to 51.

The retailer has also invested in a new ecommerce platform and an updated warehouse management system.

Back in March, The White Company revealed plans to enter the US with a store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which opened during its current financial year.

It has also launched a shop in New Jersey as part of plans to broaden its business outside of the UK.

The White Company chief executive Mary Homer, who took the reins earlier this year after quitting Topshop, said she was now prioritising IT and infrastructure improvements in what would be “a year of consolidation” for the business.

Homer insisted the moves would gear the retailer up for “future growth” despite the challenging retail landscape.