But August was bad month for multichannel retailer

Ideal Shopping Direct has reported a strong set of retail figures for the half year to July 1, but growth slowed in the following 9-week period.

Total sales climbed 9.7 per cent to£46.4 million at the TV, online and wholesale business. like-for-likes rose 12.3 per cent over the period, despite being up against a strong 10.1 per cent increase for the same 26-week period last year.

Ideal's main TV channel, Ideal World, achieved strong sales growth across its six product categories, driven by fashion, leisure and craft.

Online is the fastest growing sales channel for Ideal Shopping Direct and now accounts for 23 per cent of its sales, compared with 20 per cent last year.

Ideal Shopping Direct chief executive Andrew Fryatt said: “The second half began well, with continuing double-digit sales growth in July. However, August has been more difficult. TV viewing figures were lower than expected, especially over the hotter weekends and August sales were down against last year. Total sales for the first nine weeks of the second half were up 2 per cent.”

Chairman David Williams said: “2007 is an important year of transition for the group. We are implementing a number of key initiatives to both strengthen the business and create a solid platform for its continuing growth.”