Substantial investment in its infrastructure, the addition of new product ranges and major increases in online sales have helped retailer Lee Longlands, which boasts stores in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leamington Spa, Abingdon and Derby, achieve gross sales hit £17.9m last year – a 9.5% rise on the previous 12 months.

The company’s operating profit increased 31% to just under £390,000, with a net cash generation of £391,000 (before one-off store opening costs).

Development of the company’s digital integration remains a key strategy, with the imminent launch of a Sofa Configurator, both in-store and online, which uses the latest technology so that customers can create the perfect sofa from around 18,000 configurations.

Darren Campo, financial director, was delighted with the performance: “It is extremely encouraging to have achieved growth in both sales and profit for the third consecutive year, in what continues to be a very demanding economic climate.

“Three years ago, the management team took the decision to return to the core values of the Lee Longlands brand and invest heavily in key areas of the business, for which we are now seeing the benefit in the form of year-on-year profit growth.

“During the year the business invested £1m in opening a 65,000 sqft store in Derby City centre, which initially created 27 new jobs and was the company’s most significant investment in over a decade.

“Another key feature of the last 12 months was refinancing with RBS, which was an extremely important part of our overall corporate strategy and is critical to us achieving our forward strategic goals.

“We are confident that the current business model and corporate infrastructure gives us the platform to build on the recent growth and maximise future opportunities.”

Lee Longlands celebrated its 112th anniversary in 2014.