Value clothing and homewares group Matalan almost doubled profits last year.

Accounts to be filed at Companies House this week will show that pre-tax profits leapt from£28.1 million to£53.2 million in the year to March 2008, when sales were flat at£1 billion.

Matalan chief executive Alistair McGeorge, who spent£18 million revamping stores last year, said he intends to complete the refurbishment programme by next year.

Debt was reduced by£140 million to£270 million over the year.

McGeorge told The Daily Telegraph: “We haven’t cut any of the muscle. We now have a solid platform to manage our cost base and pursue growth.

“We are moving from stabilisation to taking the business forward and trying to grow it.”