Like-for-like sales improving
Ottakar's said current trading has seen a boost. In the 14 weeks to May 7, total sales increased by 4.7 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales have fallen 0.5 per cent, although the retailer was keen to point out trading has improved since the beginning of the year. Like-for-like per sales fell 1.6 per cent in the seven weeks to March 19.

The retailer said its Hitchin store opening went ahead of schedule and both that and a relocation at Hastings were trading well.

Further openings will take place this financial year at Chesterfield, Maidstone, Sudbury and Worthing. Conversions of Corbetts Bookshops will also take place at Amersham and Alton, as well as relocations in Dundee and London's Science Museum, during the same time.

The retailer will tell shareholders at its annual general meeting today that it expects to announce further sites in its pre-close trading statement in July, together with an indication of the impact of the latest Harry Potter book launch on July 16.