Troubled high street photo chain Jessops has seen like-for-like sales fall 8.7% for the year to 30 September 2007 and notched up a total loss after tax of u00a363.5m.rnrnrnrnrnrnrn

Troubled high street photo chain Jessops has seen like-for-like sales fall 8.7% for the year to 30 September 2007 and notched up a total loss after tax of £63.5m.

Total revenue fell by £24.5m to £325.5m compared to the same period in 2006, according to preliminary figures released today.

However, the company points out that its pre-tax loss of £7.5m was in line with expectations.

This year saw Jessops close 81 stores and cut its central overheads by 20% as part of a strategic review.

The firm says it managed to hold on to its 18.7% share of the total digital camera market and increase its share of digital SLR sales from 37.3% to 38%.

?This was an excellent achievement against the background of the extreme disruption to the business during the course of the year caused by the actions we took,? said the firm in a statement.

?The completion of the restructuring programme has put Jessops in a stronger position for the future,? the company added.

Jessops says it managed to raise £16.8m through the sale of clearance stock.

Earlier this year the company admitted it had been hit hard by falling prices of digital compacts and said that digital SLR cameras would play a key role in its future success.

Today it revealed that it has reduced its range of compact cameras from more than 140 lines to around 60.

?This has had the dual benefit of reducing the amount of stock we carry and focusing our customers on the key lines,? adds the company.

As part of its future plans, Jessops says it wants its business to have the ?most knowledgeable staff in the marketplace?.

The company has set up ?staff scheduling systems? to ensure staff availability matches customer demand.

It has also launched ?Jessops Academy?, an initiative aimed at ?improving the product knowledge of our store colleagues, the most important people in the process of providing service to our customers?.

Executive chairman David Adams said that the Christmas period is a ?hugely important? time for Jessops. He added: ?Whilst trading conditions remain tough, we are well prepared with good stock availability and the key period is still to come.?

Jessops directors have stated that they will not be recommending a final dividend payment to shareholders for the year.