Cameras specialist Jessops has posted an uplift in first-half sales and says it is beating trading targets.

The retailer, which had to undergo emergency restructuring in 2009 when it was sold to special-purpose vehicle Snap Equity, reported that sales rose 3.3% in the half-year to July 17, like-for-likes climbed 3.6% and online sales doubled. Jessops did not disclose the value of sales or give a profit figure.

Chief executive Trevor Moore said Jessops’ store improvement programme is proceeding to plan. During the period the retailer opened three shops, refurbished 12 and completed 31 “refresh” stores.

Two larger stores in Birmingham and Glasgow, labelled centres of excellence, include an extended range and branded shop-in-shops.

Refurbished and relocated stores delivered an average sales uplift of 30%.

Moore said: “Following last year’s positive EBITDA performance, we set ourselves a challenging plan this year which we are exceeding.

“Whilst we anticipate market conditions will remain challenging in the foreseeable future, with our multi-channel proposition supported by innovation, we are well positioned to deliver further profitable market share growth.”

The 85 ‘Black’ store improvement program for 2011 continued on track with 3 new stores and 12 refurbishments of existing or relocated stores featuring live product and 31 refresh stores completed in the first half.   This included two new ‘Centres of Excellence’ in Birmingham and Manchester which are larger footprint, extended range stores, featuring branded shop in shops, portfolio studios and training academy facilities.  All stores performed well, with refurbishments and relocations delivering an average uplift of over 30% post-refurbishment.

Moore added: “Following our Christmas trading update, we have maintained leading market shares in the DSLR, CSC, Lens and Accessories product categories over the period, while our new store format and multi-channel offering, as well as innovation such as iphone and android apps, have continued to widen the appeal of our offer. We are planning for almost half of our estate to have the new black store frontage by the end of 2011.”