- Footwear retailer Shoe Zone posted an 18% rise in annual profit and declared a special dividend as new 'big box' store offerings helped boosted sales.

Pre-tax profit for the year through 29 September rose to £11.3m, as revenue rose 1.8% to £160.6m.

Shoe Zone said the rise in sales was also supported by growth in its digital offering.

The company declared a final dividend of 8.0p, up 17.6% on-year, and a special dividend of 8.0p per share.

Gross product margin eased back to 62.9%, from 63.2% on-year.

Chief executive Nick Davis said the company had delivered a record performance while operating in a challenging consumer environment.

'This positive performance is testament to the strength of the core business model and the effective focus on growing the big box and digital channels,' he said.

'We continue to make good progress against our strategic objectives and the board remains positive about the outlook for the group.'

'We are incredibly proud of all of our team's effort in delivering this progress and would like to thank them for all of their hard work.'

Story provided by