Losing its sparkle: Up-market jeweller Theo Fennell hit by Olympics

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THEO Fennell, the luxury jewellery business, saw its half-year sales hit by the Olympics, with shoppers staying away from its flagship London stores.

The retailer, whose customers have included Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, left, and Elton John, admitted that a slump in international customers during the London 2012 Olympics left sales 8 per cent lower at £4.9 million in the six months to 30 September.

The firm, which has a flagship store in Fulham, west London, an outlet in Mayfair and concessions in Harrods and Selfridges, said shopper footfall was badly impacted by the Games over the summer months.

But the group, which is in takeover talks with private equity outfit EME Capital, said cost-cutting efforts helped push losses to their lowest level for four years, more than halving to £610,083 from £1.4m a year earlier.

The firm said it must increase sales to return the business to profit and is planning a strategy review in the new year to develop the brand and its international network.