The AIM-listed home shopping group posted a 3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £6.3 million before exceptionals, on sales up 13.1 per cent to £96.9 million.

In the first nine weeks of the year, sales advanced 6.4 per cent and chief executive Andrew Fryatt was bullish. “We have already achieved growth this year, even with tough market conditions, and should be able to reach 8 per cent in 2008,” he said.

Fryatt would not comment on the progress of a potential offer for the retailer from a mystery suitor.

A revamped web site is due to launch in May and, by the end of this year, online is expected to account for 30 per cent of sales versus 20 per cent at present.

Altium retail analyst David Stoddart said that Ideal had strong growth potential. “It has the cash to fund expansion and, freed of the management turmoil of recent years, should be able to boost underlying profitability,” he said.