Topps Tiles posted a fall in pre-tax profits of 16 per cent for the 26 weeks to March 29, as a tighter housing market feeds through into sales.

The decline – from£18.7 million to£15.8 million – included a£1.85 million loss on interest rate derivatives. Sales rose 4 per cent to£106.3 million, compared with last year’s£102.3 million, but like-for-like sales declined 0.5 per cent, allowing for the early Easter.

Topps Tiles chief executive Matthew Williams said: “Despite the challenging retail market, our key strengths underpin a robust business model, which has proven to be resilient through previous economic cycles.”

In the six weeks since March 29, sales were up 2 per cent, but like-for-like sales were down 3 per cent. The retailer’s Dutch operation reported sales up 8.9 per cent year on year.

Topps Tiles opened 10 stores in its first half and trades from 311 stores in the UK and 20 in Holland.