Photography firm Jessops has revealed its trading over Christmas was good but that sales for the last quarter of 2007 were down.
The camera specialists said like-for-like sales during the seven weeks until January 6th were up 0.3 per cent compared to last year.
But total sales were down by 20.6 per cent, a drop the company puts down to the closure of 81 of its stores in a costcutting move last year.
During the 14 weeks from the start of last October, like-for-like sales were down by 4.7 per cent and total sales experienced a fall of 24.4 per cent.
A stock clearance campaign has resulted in the company's stock levels being reduced from £62 million on January 7th last year to £34 million on January 6th this year.
"We were prepared for a tough Christmas trading environment and managed the business accordingly," executive chairman David Adams said.
"Strong working capital management aligned with a robust sales performance has resulted in an improved stock profile. We have a clear position in the digital imaging market with a full range of products and services.
"Much work remains to be done to return the business to sustainable profitability and this performance over the key Christmas period is an encouraging step."
Jessops has struggled as a specialist retailer with the rise of internet buying and the broadening of products at multi-retailers such as supermarkets.