United Carpets aims to increase its market share in core categories after holding profitability last year.

The AIM-listed retailer, the bulk of whose stores are franchised rather than company-owned, posted a 1.2% increase in profit before tax and exceptionals to £1.5m in the year to March 31.

Network sales rose 2.4% to £71.6m in the period, when like-for-likes slipped 1.4%.

United Carpets chief executive Paul Eyre said: “In the context of the current market this was a resilient performance slightly ahead of market expectations.”

He said the performance, coupled with a health balance sheet, means United is “well positioned to continue to develop is network of franchised stores and increase its share of the flooring and beds market alongside any improvement in trading conditions.”