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Theo Fennell posts first-half loss after sales drop

LONDON, December 24, 2008 - Upmarket UK jeweller Theo Fennell posted a first-half loss of 840,000 pounds after sales fell 20 percent, and said it was reviewing expansion plans.
 
"Trading has been difficult as consumers become more cautious in the current economic climate," Chairman Richard Northcott said in a statement.
 
He said the loss for the six months ended 30 September 2008, which compared with a profit for the same period last year of 434,000 pounds, was partly due to the company's heavy investment in expansion into Dublin and overseas markets.
 
"Sales have been significantly impacted by the current recession and trading has been difficult," Northcott said.
 
"This is immensely frustrating given the initiatives we had planned, but given the downturn in consumer spending further expansion plans are being reviewed."
 
Northcott added, "Our key challenge is to ensure the business is correctly positioned for when consumer confidence returns."
 
The jeweller said talks with a third-party investor were continuing.
 
"Progress has been slower than anticipated due to the current economic environment, but will continue in the new year although there is still no guarantee a transaction will complete," it said.