The home shopping group delivered interim benchmark pre-tax profits of £7 million – down from £8.5 million last time – on sales up 1 per cent to £294.7 million.

Findel slashed its dividend by more than half and described performance as satisfactory in tough market conditions. The retailer has focused on existing customers and mitigating bad debt risk, and aims to reduce debt by£100 million by the end of March 2011.

Chairman Keith Chapman said “a stronger and more efficient group” was being built.

Analyst Matthew McEachran of house broker Singer Capital Markets noted profit was just below his expectations but said: “As Findel manages its debt down over the next two years it should re-emerge from the downturn in relatively good shape.”

Numis analyst Nick Coulter, advising buy, reduced his full-year forecast from£52.8 million to£45.5 million.