George Duncan, chairman of convenience food chain Alldays, has pointed out that despite a continuing rise in operating losses, the company has laid the foundations for a more profitable future focus on the core business.

During the H1, the 26 weeks to 29 April 2001, Duncan pointed out that management had devoted considerable resources to developing the company's strategy, finances and organisation. Now however he argues that there are "some encouraging signs for an improved performance in the second half."

The chain now operates 616 outlets and the unsuccessful strategy of the former management has been abandoned, with the firm completing the sale or buyout of all the regional franchises.

The pre-tax loss fell from £40m (US$56m) to £3.5m during the period and while central costs were trimmed, like-for-like sales grew by 2.5%.