Instore, the company behind discount retailer Poundstretcher, is planning to delist from the Alternative Investment Market, in a move that increases its dependence on major shareholder Crown Crest Group.

Crown Crest owns more than half of Instore – offering the company financial support in the form of loans and credit facilities.

Yesterday Instore chairman John Jackson admitted the chain’s "substantial dependence" on Crown Crest was likely to continue “even when general economic conditions improve”.

“The company's interests will be best served by some or all of the company's indebtedness to Crown Crest being converted into share capital,” he added.

Instore reported a 2.9% increase in sales to £139.8m for the 26 weeks to 29 August. Like-for like sales rose 1.3% during the period and pre-tax losses improved from £7.1m to £3.7m. However, total sales were down 7.7% in the seven weeks to 17 October – equivalent to an 8.3% like-for-like decrease.