DIY group Focus’s CVA proposal has “a strong chance of success”, said Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George after a company visit.

Creditors will decide by Monday whether to back the company voluntary arrangement deal, which would allow Focus to shed 38 non-trading stores and save £9m.

George said that because the alternative to a CVA would be administration the likelihood of success is high. “It has been reported to have been well received by creditors,” he said.

He reported that Focus’s new store model, which has been adopted in five locations so far, is “working well”.

George said Focus is trading ahead of expectations and that “despite all the rumours, sales in the first five months to end-July are 2% above budget while EBITDA is encouragingly 6.5% ahead of budget.”

George said: “Management has revitalised the business and cut costs aggressively. It has, we believe, come up with a winning format which has real potential for growth in market towns and edge-of-town locations where sales can be leached from the warehouse format.

“After completion of the CVA, we expect management will be given the green light from the private equity owner Cerberus to refurbish the estate and eventually to expand the under-represented format.”