Jersey multichannel retailer Flying Brands has unveiled a 31 per cent fall in pre-tax profits – from £5.3 million to £3.6 million – for the year to December 28 last year.

Flying Brands’ like-for-like sales also tumbled, down by 13 per cent, although the total turnover for the group rose 9 per cent, from£42.4 million to£46.3 million, reflecting the 2006 acquisition of Greetings Direct. Internet sales rose 19 per cent from£5 million to£5.9 million.

Flying Brands chairman Tim Trotter said: “2007 has been a very difficult year for the group, particularly the second half. Not only did we have to contend with deteriorating general retail market conditions, but we were also beset with a series of one-off issues and a general decline in the trading performance in the second half of the year on all our main trading divisions.”

He added that a successful launch of the Flying Brands’ Greetings Direct brand in Australia indicated good potential profit from international markets.

Flying Brands abandoned a plan to acquire a privately owned home shopping retailer at the beginning of this year owing to adverse market conditions and poor trading.

Trotter said that the process of recruiting a new chief executive to replace Mark Dugdale, who has held the post for the past five years, was under way.