Pre-tax profits at multichannel retailer Flying Brands have more than halved in the 26 weeks to June 27, falling to £1.2 million.

Including ab exceptional cost of£11.6 million related to the closure of its Greetings Direct business, the Jersey-based company incurred losses after tax of£11.7 million compared with a profit of£3.1 million the previous year. Sales fell 5 per cent to£18.9 million for the period.

Flying Brands chief executive Tricia Killen, who joined the company in June, said: “Although the first six months of 2008 have been tough, I firmly believe we are now at a turning point for the business. We know which direction we should be taking, we have a strong plan and we will be executing it over the next six months to stabilise the picture in 2008 and ensure that we can drive for organic growth in 2009 and beyond.”

Flying Brands, which runs Gardening Direct, Flying Flowers and Listen2, announced last month that it would close its Greetings Direct in the UK and Australia and halt the roll out in the US.