Top 50 retailer Bens, which operates under the Budgens fascia, has posted reduced losses after the closure of one of its stores.

The Essex-based company's pre-tax losses dropped from £161,409 to £38,860 in the year to 31 August. Sales from continuing operations were flat at £14.7m.

Writing in the accounts, MD Dee Patel said the company had been forced to close a Clacton-on-Sea store which was making "significant" and "continuing" losses. Results for the current year were expected to improve, he said, and a sister company, Aimes, would continue to open Costa Coffee shops.