Flying Brands sales plummeted 35% in the three months to March 31 as it continues talks to sell the business.

Total sales fell to £7m over the period.  Flying Brands completed the sale of its gifts division and Garden Bird Supplies, Garden Centre Online and Listen2businesses on May 1.

It is still in talks with “a number of prospective purchasers” for its remaining gardening businesses.

Orders from its remaining business, which comprises Gardening Direct and  its growing and live despatch  operation, were down £1.7m to £3.8m over the period whilst orders from the sold parts of its businesses fell £2.1m to £3.2m.

The multichannel retailer said the gardening division continued to face a number of challenges, both through poor weather and the removal of the Low Value Consignment Relief, a tax loophole which allowed products priced £15 and below to be sold VAT free into the UK from the Channel Islands.

It said: “We believe that the resulting increase in prices did have the effect of reducing demand and we, along with most of our competitors, have had to respond by reducing prices in the latter half of the season.”

Flying Brands said its restructuring programme to cut central overheads, which it revealed last month,is on track.