Shop Direct cuts losses to £21m

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Shop Direct, the owner of and Littlewoods, said it hoped to return to profit this financial year after slashing its annual losses with a a major overhaul of the businesses. The home shopping giant has been closing call centres under plans to transform itself from a catalogue firm into an online retailer. It posted a pre-tax loss of £21m for the year to 30 April against £114m the year before. But Shop Direct failed to increase year-on-year sales despite a celebrity-led launch of its fashion site and adding Woolworths as an online brand after buying it out of administration.

Restructuring efforts have seen the group shut several call centres with the loss of 1,300 jobs in the past year.