Alldays posted another huge loss in its interims which were released this week. For the 26 weeks to April 30 Alldays made an operating profit of £0.6m, compared with a loss of £1.8m last time. But interest charges of £5.7m and exceptionals of £33.8m, mainly incurred through buying 19 of its regional development companies, left it with a loss before tax of £40.4m ­ and the company has bank loans totalling £170m. Nevertheless executive chairman George Duncan denied the situation was hopeless. He said: "We do have a steep hill to climb, but if we can achieve the same profitability as our peer companies we will be able to reduce our debts." The purchase of the 19 RDCs left just five of the original 32 in existence. This means the company now has control over 675 stores with an additional 93 owned by the remaining RDCs. The newly acquired stores helped to raise turnover from £212m to £257m, with like for like sales up 7.1%. Duncan said abolishing the extra layer of management involved in the RDCs had removed costs of £5m. He said the company had been concentrating its attention on integrating 443 stores from the RDCs into its network, but now attention could be turned to the stores themselves. Duncan said he would be looking to reduce costs further by streamlining operations through company owned stores. He said: "We will carry out a review of product offer and pricing structures because there has been a degree of disparity and regional differences. We will be looking to cut lines and reduce complexity and costs. "With more direct control there is scope to improve performance." He said there would also be a review of the estate and a small number of loss making stores would be sold, but he denied there would be a major disposals programme to reduce debt. There will also be talks with the owners of the remaining RDCs in the next few weeks to review their future. {{NEWS }}