Beatties offers a positive outlook for performance

Department store group Beatties insists it is well-placed for a strong second-half performance, despite a fall in interim profits.

Finance director Bill Kelly said: 'Sales are difficult to come by in the present trading climate, so a drop in profit is not too disappointing. We are traditionally weighted towards the second six months.'

First-half pre-tax profit fell from£800,000 to£300,000, but turnover rose from£60.8 million to£61.3 million.

Beatties also opens a store in Telford today. 'We are enthusiastic about Telford,' said Kelly.