Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 12:29 UK

Sharp loss at celebrity jeweller

18ct ring
The jeweller is aiming to make its finances sparkle once more

Exclusive jewellery firm Theo Fennell has lost £3.3m as the downturn and a string of ventures took their toll.

The jeweller, which has counted Elton John and Victoria Beckham among its customers, blamed "a number of unwise management decisions" for its woes.

It was forced to write off £1.3m after a failed move into fragrances, while new concessions in Dublin and Westfield London were closed within months.

It will now focus on its jewellery business, under its new management.

Theo Fennell had suffered because of its decision to expand "at a time when the outlook for luxury goods was weakening" said Freddie George, of Seymour Pierce stockbrokers.

The firm was founded by Theo Fennell, who returned to the company as creative director in June - a move which it said had "re-energised" staff.

It said it was now seeking to "re-engage" with its customers and develop a wholesale business in Russia and the Middle East, where there was demand for its luxury goods.

The jeweller saw sales of £28.1m in the year to 31 March, but lost £2m on top of the write-down. This compared with a £1.9m profit a year earlier.

Current trading had not improved and the company had not "turned a corner", said chairman Rupert Hambro, but he added he was "convinced we have seen the worst of it".



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