But all to play for at Christmas
Brown & Jackson has reduced its operating losses by£1.9 million to£2.7 million in the 26 weeks ended 28 August. Losses in the equivalent period last year amounted to£4.6 million.

Total sales increased by 3.9 per cent to£126.9 million, compared to£122.1 million in the same period a year ago.

During the half-year the retailer has undertaken the transformation of its Poundstretcher stores to the new instore format, overseen by CEO and former Matalan supremo Angus Monro, who joined the company in 2002.

Stock levels were reduced by£2.5 million and its instore brand had been rolled out to 49 stores over the half-year, increasing to a total of 75 for the Christmas trading period.

Like for like sales for the six weeks to 9 October increased by 11 per cent. Total sales were up 7.4 per cent.

Brown & Jackson chairman Christo Wiese said: 'In the first half of the financial year we have continued to build on the recovery trend begun in January. As such we are pleased with the outcome for the half-year which represents a significant improvement in losses on last year and is ahead of market expectations. Plans for Christmas have been well laid and although we remain confident of continued strong sales performance, the full year outcome clearly remans dependent on the key Christmas trading period.'