Heal's on course to refurnish its profits

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The Independent Online

Heal's, the upmarket furniture chain, has shaved a third off the £7.2m loss reported last year.

The privately run business, which is owned by Whittington, the investment vehicle of the Weston family, reported a loss of £4.8m in the latest accounts for the year to September 2007 – against a £7.2m loss in 2006. Sales rose by 8 per cent to £32.6m as Heal's pledged to return to profitability within two years.

The company said: "In a difficult and competitive trading environment, we have grown sales and reduced the operating loss. Following a relatively flat start to the year, sales picked up significantly."

It added: "The company has embarked on a number of initiatives that are already adding to sales... and looks forward with confidence to the year ahead."

The business, which was founded in 1810 and at one point was part of the Habitat/ Mothercare group, has seven branches. The Weston family also owns Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges.