The group that owns Threshers is still making a loss but directors have insisted that its private equity owner would continue to prop it up until it was profitable.

Commercial director Lloyd Stephens moved to allay fears for the future of First Quench Retailing, which made a pre-tax loss of £30m in the year ending June 2008.

Its owner, Vision Capital, had paid off its debts and made funds available when needed, he said. "We are in a pretty stable position unless something changes dramatically," he said. "We are a business with no debt and substantial cash on the balance sheet. We are on a trajectory to get back into profit in the short term."

A warning issued by auditors Ernst & Young that the business would struggle as a going concern referred to last year's accounts and was no longer relevant, he stressed.

"It was a health warning and not our last rites," he said. "It was the right thing to say a year ago, but a year later we are in better shape. We have improved our position significantly."

However, he declined to reveal the extent of the business's loss during the year ending June 2009, or when it would return to profit.