But trading weakens as bookseller prepares for another year of expansion
Bookseller Ottakar's has posted an increase in sales for the last recorded 12 months, but sales appear to have slipped in the New Year.

In the 52 weeks to January 29, the retailer increased turnover by 13 per cent to£173.2 million. Like-for-like sales rose by 3.5 per cent, although this growth was down from an uplift of 6.2 per cent the year before. Profit before tax for the latest full year was£7.1 million, up 16 per cent on the year before.

However, like-for-like sales for the seven weeks to March 19 were down 1.6 per cent, against strong comparatives for the same time last year.

The retailer increased its store base over the full financial year from 121 to 131 shops.

Ottakar's chairman Philip Dunne said: 'The outlook for the forthcoming year remains positive as we focus on our cost base to obtain operating efficiencies and a clearly defined shop opening programme weighted this year towards smaller stores with an expected rapid payback.'