Trading conditions described as "extremely challenging" led to a drop in sales at Fenwick Ltd.
In accounts for the year ended January 25, 2013, the group, which started life in Newcastle, reported gross sales of £424.7m, compared to £431.2m the year before. Turnover, meanwhile, dropped from £290.5m to £289.7m, but profit before taxation rose from £35.8m to £36.2m
A directors’ report said: “The operation of department stores continues to be the principal activity of the group, with a distinct proposition tailored to each of our 11 local markets.
“Despite spirts being lifted by the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, trading conditions remained extremely challenging for retailers in 2012. The economy continued to experience significant headwinds and consumers maintained their cautious spending behaviour.
“Group sales fell just short of the year, but the overall financial out-turn was boosted by tighter control of stock and costs and improved investment returns.”
The group had continued its policy of long-term investment in its trading assets and had launched an online version of its Bond Street store assortment.