Hardware chain Robert Dyas has plunged into the red, posting a pre-tax loss of £10.4m for the year to March 28.

The figure compared with a pre-tax profit of £3.4m the previous year and was attributed to impairment provisions including restructuring and onerous lease costs.

However, turnover at the 99-store retailer increased 1.3% to £108m in the period, while like-for-likes declined 2%. Underlying EBITDA fell from £6m to £4.3m in the period.

Robert Dyas had its strongest period in the final quarter, when like-for-likes increased 3%. It reported that margin and market share rose over the year.

Chief executive Steven Round said trading has been “very positive” over the second quarter of the present financial year. The retailer is “actively” looking for new stores, its accounts revealed.

Round said: “Our trade has held up relatively well against the market. We’re trying to open a shop or two and are waiting for the right opportunities.”

He said there were another 150 locations where Robert Dyas could open in the Southeast, where the majority of its stores are. While the retailer is undecided on whether to open shops elsewhere, Round said: “There are areas outside of our heartland we’ll do well in.”

Robert Dyas remains “optimistic” it can deliver EBITDA growth over the medium term “despite the challenging environment”.

Round said improvements made in sourcing direct from the Far East, the introduction of category management, and innovations in space planning had helped increase sales. “We seem to be attracting a younger customer base as our product mix has changed,” he said.

Last month the retailer - which earlier this year was on the verge of collapse before Round and then chairman Ian Gray led a management buyout - agreed a debt for equity swap with lenders Lloyds TSB and Allied Irish, securing the future of the business.

Robert Dyas, which suffered from a reduction of credit insurance, has had cover strengthened as a result of the financial restructuring, according to Round.