Womenswear retailer Jacques Vert has announced a drop in operating profit before exceptional items to £4.7 million for the year to April 28, from £5.7 million last year.

Like-for-like sales rose 0.5 per cent and retail sales increased 1 per cent – to£114.9 million from£114.1 million in 2007. However, like-for-like sales and gross sales fell 5.9 per cent in the 10 weeks since April 26, 2008.

Profit after tax plummeted to£1.6 million from£19.6 million last year, although this included a net exceptional credit of£14.7 million.

Jaques Vert chairman Steve Bodger said: “Our brands have performed well in difficult trading conditions. I am confident that our strong financial position will enable us to benefit from any improvement in the market.”