Ikea UK profits fell last year as the retailer invested in shopper experience to stay ahead in the tough big ticket market.

The UK arm of the world’s largest furniture retailer delivered pre-tax profit of £19.8m in the year to August 31, compared with £23.6m the previous year, according to documents filed at Companies House.

However, Ikea - which does not comment on its profits - notched up a 6% sales rise to £1.26bn in the year, as revealed by Retail Week in November.

At the time, Ikea UK and Ireland acting country manager Carole Reddish said the retailer invested £30m into the shopper experience.

The retailer said it increased its market share by 0.4% to 6.8% in the year.

Ikea operates 18 UK stores at present, with a 19th planned for Reading in 2014. Reddish said it will be its most sustainable store to date.