Jessops owner Peter Jones has revealed the camera retailer will generate sales of more than £70m and will make a profit in the first year under his ownership.

Star of TV show Dragon’s Den Jones, who paid £5m for the chain when he rescued the retailer out of administration in January, said like-for-like sales were up over 30% against last year and 85% of the 500 staff are original employees.

Last year Jessops made a pre-tax loss of £5.2m and recorded sales of £236.7m. When it collapsed into administration it had debts of £81m.

Jones told the Mail on Sunday: “It [Jessops] had a very tired, weary estate of 200 stores, of which over 100 were just not profitable. I’m not any form of genius, I’m just copying someone else’s success.

“I went to the Jessops sales conference last week and there were tears. They were very lovely, trying to make out it was a lot to do with me, and I know I’ve invested and it’s my money, but I came on stage to the song Proud by Heather Small and there were tears.

“It was “wow”. When you see that passion you realise Jessops was not a job for these people, it was a life. You will not find anybody in a Jessops store who is not camera mad. It’s an iconic 1930s company. Now it still has a chance of survival.”

Jessops currently trades from a 28-store estate, which is short of the 30 to 36 stores Jones had targeted to opening by the end of April.