Jessops is to close 81 of its shops in a move expected to lead to the loss of 550 jobs and save £15m, the high street chain announces today.

In a statement announcing the completion of its strategic review Jessops said that 47 of the shops to be closed ?overlap? with shops in the same area, 31 are ?loss-making?, and three ?subject to redevelopment?.

The move leaves 234 shops remaining in the Jessops chain.

Jessops has also announced its latest trading results, reporting a pre-tax loss of £25.2m for the six months to 1 April.

The troubled Leicester-based firm hopes its restructuring will cut its overheads by 20%.

Earlier this year shares in Jessops fell more than 70% after the high-street chain warned that it expects to report a half-year loss of £8.5m and not pay dividends to its shareholders for that period.

At the time Jessops blamed deteriorating market conditions – citing a 16.3% drop in digital compact camera sales (in value terms) for February, compared to the month before.

Executive chairman David Adams said: ?Since I joined as chairman at the beginning of May I have been delighted with the progress that has been made by [chief executive] Chris Langley and his team in developing our strategy for the future. The strategy allows us to re-position Jessops as a true multi-channel retailer, building on our core strengths in the digital imaging market place.?

Adams added: ?We have been working closely with our bankers HSBC and are pleased to announce that we have agreed new banking facilities. These facilities will provide us with the opportunity over the next 18 months to build a solid platform for the long term. I would also like to thank our suppliers for their support and the entire Jessops team who have worked extremely hard over the past few months in difficult circumstances.?

Jessops was established in 1935.

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Full statement

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