Forecourt operator Sewell Retail has warned 2013 will be “another challenging year” after posting a fall in pre-tax profits.

The Top 50 indie reported a 21.5% drop in pre-tax profits to £365,000 on sales up 1.4% to £54m in the year to 31 December 2012, accounts filed at Companies House show.

“Significant investment has been made in the infrastructure of the business which will prepare the company for another challenging year in 2013,” wrote the directors.