Tricia Killen, former president of Reader’s Digest for Western Europe, has her work cut out as the new chief executive of home shopping group Flying Brands.

The retailer has lurched from problem to problem of late and last week, just before Killen’s appointment, it issued a profit warning driven by bad debt and returns suffered by its Greetings Direct business.

Internal profit expectations have been scaled back by£1.1 million and broker Landsbanki expects the eventual figure to come in at about£2.2 million – 40 per cent down on forecasts.

Landsbanki analyst Paul Deacon noted: “While management has recognised the need to invest in additional people and IT, the risk remains that earnings are overpowered by difficulty in recruiting new customers through traditional routes to market and a rising cost base.”

Despite Greetings Direct’s difficulties in the UK and Australia, there is still the intention to launch it in the US.