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Hot Tuna sees rising sales

Surf and lifestyle brand Hot Tuna posted a 68.2% hike in revenue to £619,131 compared to sales of £367,992 in 2006.

However pre-tax losses widened to £5.33 million from £2m the previous year.

But chairman Ranjit Murugason said despite challenging market conditions and a poor summer that led to disappointing sales, he was encouraged by the fact that retail sales of surf and related products had climbed by over 15% in the last two years.

"This sector still remains one of the fastest-growing sectors within the apparel industry," he said.

Chief executive Niels Juul, who since his appointment in June has launched a strategic review of the business, said up until the current autumn season, Hot Tuna's operations had not been cohesive.

"As a result of many inefficiencies the margins generated and the operating result have not been favourable," he said.

He added: "I have undertaken a strategic review of the Group, and consequently been able to streamline many of the processes within the business, using funds raised in December 2006. These changes to our processes will start to have a real impact on the business. I will be closely overseeing the design process, and continuing to pursue the opportunities for partnerships, and we look forward to realising the potential in the brand over the coming year."

The company, which recently secured orders from home shopping retailer Otto, aims to open a Hot Tuna store in Dubai in autumn 2008.

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