Department store retailer Beales cut its losses by 35% to £0.99m in the year to October 31 2009.
The figure compared to a £1.52m loss in the year before. Sales were marginally down at £47.6m from £47.9m in 2008.
The company also said that it had been hit hard by this January’s winter weather. “Sales for the first two weeks of January 2010 have been adversely affected by snow. The areas in which our 11 stores are situated, principally the south, south east and north west of the country, were disproportionately affected.
“For the first 11 weeks of the current financial year (to January 16 2010) sales excluding VAT were 3.4% below those for the previous year.”
Chairman Mike Killingley said: “We expect 2010 to be another challenging year for retailers, as continuing high unemployment and increasing taxation levels affect both spending power and consumer confidence, with the added political uncertainty of a general election this spring.”
However, he added that he believed “the positive trend of 2008/09” would continue and that the stores would see further improved performance over the coming year.