FIVE-a-side football operator Powerleague has seen its underlying profits dip in spite of an upturn in revenue.

Accounts filed at Companies House highlighted the impact of severe weather in the first quarter of 2013 but turnover came in at £29.8 million in the 12 months to December 29, almost 10 per cent up from the £27.2m in the prior financial year.

But rising costs saw underlying operating profit fall 11 per cent from £2.55m to £2.27m. The pre-tax loss narrowed from £3.6m to £661,000 although the prior year included more than £3.1m of exceptional costs.

Two new centres were opened in London during the financial year, taking the group's total estate to 46 at the end of the period. The facilities are said to have exceeded expectations and will make strong contributions in 2014.

A strategic review carried out in 2013 saw a refurbishment programme begin and a new reward scheme for teams introduced.

Powerleague, taken off the stock exchange in a £42.5 million deal by Patron Capital in 2009, said this led to a significant increase in team numbers over the first quarter of the 2014 financial year.

The directors said new long-term sponsorship agreements - with the likes of Lucozade, Nike, Mitre and Budweiser, - along with a pipeline of new sites has put Powerleague on course to deliver its strongest performance since 2010. Around £3.5m has been spent on upgrading pitches and bars at core sites so far this year

Yesterday chief executive Sean Tracey said: "We have invested to grow the business.

"We are on a strong growth curve and our numbers will be stronger again this year."

The accounts show average monthly staff numbers increasing from 621 to 797 while employee costs rose from £7.45m to £8.1m.

Directors' remuneration rose from £612,000 to £696,000 with the highest paid seeing their emoluments increasing from £278,000 to £293,000.