Topps Tiles’ like-for-like sales slid 4.7% in its third quarter as the trading environment toughened.

The specialist retailer said performance was dragged down by “weaker macro-economic conditions” and a strong comparative period last year, when a high level of housing transactions resulting from Stamp Duty changes boosted Topps’ performance.

Topps Tiles chief executive Matthew Williams said: “At the time of our interim results in May we pointed to a more challenging macro-economic environment and this has persisted through the remainder of the third quarter.

“Tougher comparatives resulting from the changes to Stamp Duty in the prior year were a feature throughout the period and we have seen a modest improvement in trading over recent weeks as they have begun to ease.

“Against this background, we will continue to extend our market leadership position by focusing on our proven strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’.

In particular, we continue to evaluate selective acquisition opportunities in the commercial segment of the UK tile market.”