Discount footwear seller Shoe Zone PLC has announced its Full-year results with a rise earnings and reported a “solid start” to the new fiscal year.

The retailer said company’s pre-tax profits surged 1.1% to £10.3 million in the year to October 1, 2016, when sales dropped 4.2% to £159.8m as loss-making branches were closed and amid problematic trading situations in the first half.

Meanwhile Shoe Zone PLC said current trading is in line with predictions and directors are optimistic about projections for the year.

Shoe Zone’s product gross margin raised to 62% from 61.5% over the year, during which the average transaction value was up 5%. Sales of product other than footwear rose 26%.

Company’s multichannel sales improved 11% and mobile and tablets now account for 74.9% of all website visits.

Starting October last year, Shoe Zone traded from 510 stores, in contrast with 535 year over year.

The company has been steering a big-box store format, with currently three, it said the trial has been quite promising so far. The larger stores, twice the size of Shoe Zone’s typical large branches and with a more “contemporary” feel, carry more exclusive product which drives higher transaction values.

Shoe Zone chief executive Nick Davis reported: “The three trial stores are all located out-of-town and therefore this concept creates a significant opportunity for Shoe Zone in this space, with all future openings being out-of-town or in larger high street units.

“This new growth opportunity is a key strategic development for the business, broadening the reach of the Shoe Zone brand and enabling us to improve our market share.”

Shoe Zone PLC reportedly have a proposal for six bigger box branches in 2017.

Furthermore Davis admitted trading conditions are likely to be challenging this year but was buoyant Shoe Zone’s value proposition would echo with shoppers.