Flying Brands has had a stronger start to its new financial year with orders ahead 2.4 per cent on a like for like basis in the 13 weeks to April 3.

As part as a drive to improve efficiencies the home shopping group said it is targeting a 15 per cent reduction in salaried employee costs which will save it around £3m. It does not expect to feel the full benefits of its cost cutting until the second half of the year.

Orders at its garden division have been strong so far with the value of orders taken at £8.4m for the period, up from £7.8m in the same period last year. 

Revenues for its entertainment division were in line with last year. Flying Flowers’ orders were down slightly at £3.1m compared with £3.3m in 2008. 

It added that there has been no material change to its financial position in the period with a net cash position on April 3 at £1m. It added: “The Group continues to pay down its debt on schedule and to comply with its banking covenants.”