Camera specialist Jessops has said it is confident it will meet full-year expectations, as it continues to reduce its cost base and improve efficiency.

In a trading statement issued today ahead of its interim results in May, the retailer said like-for-like sales for the 25 weeks to March 22 were down 5.1 per cent. Total sales were down 24.6 per cent after the closure of 81 stores last year.

The retailer said that while trading conditions “remain challenging”, it is confident that it will meet expectations for the year to September 30, as it approaches the key summer trading period.

It added that product margin was ahead of last year and, following its restructuring programme last year, it has taken further action to reduce its cost base and improve efficiency.

As of March 22, stocks were£29 million, compared with£34 million on January 6 and£51 million on March 24, 2007.

Jessops executive chairman David Adams said: “Our trading performance reflects the difficult and uncertain environment we operate in and we continue to take actions to reduce the cost base of the business.

“These actions, plus the restructuring activity undertaken in the second half of last year, which caused significant disruption to trading through store closure and stock clearance, should benefit the business as we move into the second half of this year.”