Luxury jewellery retailer Theo Fennell has appointed former Burberry Group executive Pamela Harper as chief executive, after unveiling sparkling interim sales results.

Harper replaces managing director Barbara Snoad, who has stepped down after six years.

Theo Fennell revealed pre-tax profits had soared 29 per cent to£434,286, with sales up 21 per cent to£12.8 million in the six months to September 30. The retailer said sales were lifted by its international expansion, following store openings in Kazakhstan and Bahrain. Theo Fennell also has stores in Moscow, Dublin, Dubai and the Maldives.

Theo Fennell chairman Richard Northcott said: “Harper’s appointment was in line with the group’s strategy to establish a management team which will be able to take the company to the next stage of its international development. [She] was instrumental in the turnaround of Burberry. She is the ideal person to develop Theo Fennell into a major luxury brand.”

The retailer said its immediate focus is the all-important Christmas period and it will be reviewing its business plan in the new year.