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Jessops announce strong trading over the Christmas period - An increase in digital camera sales has helped Jessops to increase its like-for-like sales by 5.7% in its network of stores, and by 74.3% in its mail order division.
Jessops has again enjoyed strong trading over the Christmas period, with an uplift in both total sales and like for like sales in the five week period, up 13.3% and 9.4% respectively. Within the total like for like increase, store like for like sales increased 5.7% and direct like for like sales, covering mail order, telesales and the internet, were up 74.3%. This years growth is once again driven by an uplift in digital camera sales across all channels, which were up 23%, with sales of digital SLRs up 92.8%.
A combination of exclusive camera deals and competitive pricing on market leading cameras were the key factors behind Jessops strong sales performance, as a result gross margins for the first quarter, although marginally below our expectations, were higher than last year.
Jessops continued its store expansion policy, opening a further 7 stores in the 13 weeks to 1 January 2006, increasing the total number of stores to 285.
The performance of the 16 spacemix trial stores has remained encouraging over the Christmas period.
Derek Hine, Chief Executive, said:
This is a pleasing performance and a welcome respite from the tough retail environment faced for most of 2005. It is a good outcome given that we were up against some pretty strong comparators from a good Christmas for Jessops the previous year. Trading was particularly buoyant in the week either side of Christmas. Despite this positive performance, it is still early days in our financial year and Christmas is not as significant for us as for some other retailers. With nine months trading still to come, we are mindful of last years market conditions, although this strong start to the year does underpin confidence in our prospects for the year as a whole.