Jessops has reported a loss of £5.9m in its first half and said that while it was still working “towards a solvent solution for the business” it does not expect “any value will be attributed to shareholders”.
For the six months to March 31, Jessops reported like for like sales down 4.5 per cent. Gross profit margin declined to 28.1 per cent. Net liabilities were £29.9m. The loss of £5.9m is wider than the previous year, when it was £2.9m.
Executive chairman David Adams said: “In January we said that we were in discussions with our advisers and HSBC Bank and that it was highly likely that this exercise would involve a fundamental restructuring of our debt. These discussions continue.
“Regrettably however, against the backdrop of the challenging retail environment and the historic level of debt, the board believes that it is unlikely that any value will be attributed to shareholders. Nevertheless we are still working with HSBC towards a solvent solution for the business.”
For the eight weeks to May 24, like for like sales fell by 3.6 per cent, and total sales fell by 8.6 per cent. This reflected the 21 store closures in February.
The retailer is continuing with its restructuring programme, and it has already reduced head office staff by 50 people to 125.