Sales and profit have fallen in the last year at book wholesaler Gardners but the company said it was "pleased" to maintain its profitability in an "increasingly competitive and challenging market".
In the year to 28th February 2011, the Eastbourne-based business reported a turnover of £176.5m, down 12% on last year’s reported sales of £200m and an operating profit of £5.7m, down 28% on last year’s figure of £7.8m.
Gardners said despite the reduction in total figures for the year, underlying sales and profit have increased. It said: "The exceptional increase in turnover in the previous year was due to a major competitor (Bertrams) going into temporary administration, which has now been resolved."
The company added: "The directors are also pleased to report that the company’s profitability has once more been maintained in an increasingly competitive and challenging market."
Over the year, Gardners said it had invested £1.9m in infrastructure, equipment and technology. The company added: "Combined with the investment made in previous years the directors are confident that this investment strategy has laid solid foundations for the future of the company."