Profits at Tesco-owned garden centre Dobbies fell last year as the retailer battled the wettest summer on record for 100 years in 2012.

Dobbies pre-tax profits fell to £7.3m in the year to February 24, 2013, down from £10.5m the prior year as poor weather and investment hit profits.

However, sales edged up 0.7% to £137.4m from £136.4m the previous year aided by the opening of a new garden centre in Gillingham.

Dobbies reported gross margin was 49.9%, down from 51.3% the prior year, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Dobbies directors said: “The garden centre market was impacted by adverse weather in the year under review, with the summer of 2012 being the wettest on record for 100 years. The company reacted to this by continuing to diversify and differentiate its product range and offering strong promotions to customers, as well as driving increased loyalty from its most valued customers.”

Addressing the fall in profits, the directors said: “Clearly this was impacted by the adverse weather, but the company continued to invest in central systems and resources and new stores.”

Since year end Dobbies has opened in King’s Lynn and Inverness but it gave no indication of current trading.

In July, former Notcutts Garden Centres chief executive Andy King replaced James Barnes as boss of Dobbies.