Sales at cycles etailer Chain Reaction boomed last year despite profits being hit by investment in extra staff.

Turnover was up almost 25% to £136.5m in the year to December 31, 2011. The retailer forecasted 2012 in sales would be boosted by the Olympics.

Pre-tax profits fell to £10m from £13.4m in 2010, as the retailer increased its headcount by 27% to 465 and invested in warehouse management systems.

Chain Reaction’s sales were also driven by business outside the EU, which accounted for 39% of turnover, up from 37% the previous year.

Managing director Chris Watson took £1.5m from a total dividend of £3m shared with his family.

In accounts filed to Companies House this week, the company was positive about 2012, focusing on targeting customers in new areas and an extension of product range buoyed by the Olympics.

Watson told Retail Week: “We are pleased with the performance given the economic environments in which we are trading.

“Awareness of the Chain Reaction brand is growing all the time. We are exceeding our customers’ expectations and the good news is spreading.”

In the financial documents the company added: “The directors believe that they can recognise more of the potential of the business and foresee further substantial improvements in turnover through 2012 and beyond, having invested significantly in 2011 to provide the necessary infrastructure to meet these demands.”

Last week, cycling retailer Halfords said cycle sales jumped 14.7% in the three months to the end of September as a result of the Games.