BLACK & Lizars, the opticians’ chain, has seen pre-tax profits rocket 87 per cent to £472,209 in spite of revenue falling slightly to just below £14 million.

In accounts newly filed with Companies House for the year to Sepetmber 30 2016, directors of the Glasgow-based business, which has 23 branches in Scotland and one in Belfast, said trading conditions in the optical sector were “difficult”.

“We continue to see the trend of patients in the lower to middle part of the market trading down on deferring their expenditure,” wrote the directors.

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The accounts show profits were fuelled by a drop in recurring administrative expenses to £9.2m, from £9.6m the preivous year.

The business said that its strategy was to continue growing the Black & Lizars brand while looking at acquisition targets with a similar patient profile in Scotland and England.

It subsequently acquired the nocturnal lenses patient book of Jack Brown’s Glasgow practice in April 2017, its first acquisition since Michelle Le Prevost joined as managing director in March 2016.

Black & Lizars said its hearing care venture continued to complement its core business, while it noted that in the current year it would introduce a new initiative in dry eye treatment.

The average number of staff employed at the company throughout the year fell by 13 to 241, while the remuneration received by the highest paid director fell to £56,171 from £83,124.