Last-minute shopping knocks sales
Ideal Shopping Direct, the TV shopping business, will miss profit forecasts after sales in the run-up to Christmas missed expectations.

Like-for-like sales for the 18 weeks to December 31 rose 3.2 per cent, taking full-year sales growth to 7.3 per cent.

The retailer said gross margins were solid and costs had been controlled, but it had been hit by the late peak in Christmas shopping which came too late for its delivery schedule.

Ideal Shopping Direct has signed an agreement with ntl:Telewest to extend the reach of the Ideal World channel to the full combined ntl:Telewest digital cable platform. This will extend the channel's potential audience by about 1.35 million households from the end of January.

It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with BT, which may lead to the inclusion of some of the group's content on the recently launched BT Vision platform by the end of 2007.