Strong sales at Flying Brands’ gardening business helped keep revenues at the home shopping group in line with expectations in the three months to October 2.

Sales from continuing operations reached £5.5m for the third quarter – 2% lower than last year. But sales at Gardening Direct rose 30% on last year, partly due to timing differences of dispatches.  

The retailer said that it expects like-for-like sales to increase 15% at Gardening Direct during autumn.

Sales at the Flying Flowers division were £1.4m for the period, compared with £1.6m for the same period the year before. The retailer pointed out that sales in the corresponding quarter last year were made at an “unacceptably low margin”.

House broker Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said: “The outlook for the group continues to brighten and the possibility of restoring profitability at Flying Flowers in particular is an exciting prospect.”

Flying Brands has also completed a share placing, raising £1.8m to reduce debt.