Ideal Shopping Direct enjoyed a better than expected Christmas with like-for-like sales ahead of management expectations.

For the year to December 28 sales were down 3 per cent on 2007.

Ideal ended the year with a cash balance of£8.4 million.

Chief executive Mike Hancox said: "Since my appointment in November, a review of all areas of the business has been undertaken and a programme of action to improve sales and reduce costs implemented. We remain focused on generating improved returns from our home shopping and internet channels to achieve the best possible results in the current economic climate."

In December Hancox announced that he was reviewing the business and would cut 15 per cent of the workforce.

Ideal said it expects to make a trading loss of£4m, before one-offs and exceptionals, in the year to December 28.