Home shopping retailer Ideal Shopping Direct has reported a 2 per cent rise in sales for the 21 weeks to May 24.

“Sales have continued to perform slightly ahead of our expectations,” said Paul Wright, chairman, He added that gross margins have remained “stable” during the period and stated his belief that “we can return them to historic levels in the forseeable future.” Wright said that Ideal DIrect’s cash position is positive with a cash balance of £9.5m at May 31 - “lending strength to the company in these uncertain economic times.”

Ideal Shopping Direct’s management is now focused on inproving the customer experience in the areas of ordering, delivery and customer service, according to Wright.

He added that “management changes at the retailer are now largely complete” and that it was hoped that a new non-excutive director would be be appointed within weeks.

“Although the economic conditions remain challenging, the board remains cautiously optimistic that the business will return to proftability in the medium term,” said Wright.