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Hot Tuna sales drop

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Sales at surfing brand Hot Tuna dropped by over £200,000 in the six months to December 31 due to challenging retail conditions and poor consumer confidence.

Revenues at the brand fell to £60,000 compared with £271,000 recorded in the six month period in the previous year. Pre-tax losses were relatively flat at £559,000 compared to £543,000 the year before. Total revenues in Europe dropped from £37,000 to £33,000.

The company attributed the drop in sales to the tough retail conditions and deflated consumer confidence which affected lead times and the level of orders taken. During the period Hot Tuna said it had seen a reduction in costs relating to wages, manufacturing costs and transportation after moving production from China to Turkey last year.

The company said it was focused on reducing its level of discounted merchandise to improve profitability.

Revenues for the full year are expected to be lower than the previous year, but are anticipated to improve in the second half.

The company said forward orders for autumn 11 had been “encouraging” but said current trading continued to be “restrained” in the UK and European markets. The brand is set to launch its e-commerce site this summer.

Chief executive officer Geoff O’Connell said: “We remain focused on increasing brand awareness in both new and existing markets and keeping our cost base down. The recent equity placing and new distribution agreements illustrate the ongoing support for the company. Hot Tuna is an iconic surf heritage brand and we are positive about the continued appeal of the brand internationally.”

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