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Oddbins slides further into debt

Published:  23 July, 2008

Oddbins' fell even deeper into the red last year with pre-tax losses rising from 3m to 8.7 million.

According to accounts at Companies House its sales fell slightly from 122m in 2005 to 121m in the year ending 31 December 2006.

Directors blamed tougher retail conditions for fewer sales while the increased losses were "driven by a fall in margin due to lower product prices", as well as 29 new stores (although 18 unprofitable stores were closed in the period), and rent increases.

It generated 2m of extra capital through clearing out old stock and reducing its stock holding.

The business, including the Oddbins and Nicolas arms, had 250 stores at the end of 2006. This year the company has transferred a number of stores to the Nicolas format and has targeted unprofitable stores for closure.