Jessops has refused to be drawn on press reports suggesting that the firm has hired financial advisers at Deloitte to consider whether the group should be refinanced or sold.

In June, Jessops secured £66.5m of funding from HSBC bank for the next 18 months.

The retailer is battling to return to profitability in 2008 and ensure its business is ‘fit for purpose’.

Bosses plan to close 81 stores by 30 September and hope to reduce total overheads by more than £15m.

Meanwhile, it seems Jessops is still searching for a new finance director to replace Ian Harris (pictured), after announcing that he will leave the company at the end of this month.

Asked whether Harris has yet been replaced a spokesman today told us that there was no further news.

We understand that Ian Harris?s departure was not the result of a falling out with Jessops executive chairman David Adams, as suggested in a report published on the website of Accountancy Age magazine on 20 September.

Jessops routinely declines to comment on such speculation.

Harris joined Jessops in November 2006 and has principally been working with HSBC on the group?s refinancing, now completed.

In a statement, dated 13 September, David Adams said: ?We would like to thank Ian for his considerable input into the refinancing process and wish him well for the future.?

Jessops has stated that it plans to stock more digital SLRs and less compact cameras as part of a huge shake up of its business which will close a quarter of its stores.

Jessops reported a pre-tax loss of £25.2m for the six months to 1 April.

As part of its restructuring, the high street chain plans to shed 550 jobs.

Picture credit: Chris Cheesman

NEWS UPDATE 27 SEPTEMBER: Jessops chief executive resigns

Click below for our previous stories about Jessops plans:

Branding promotion

DSLRs key to success

New Chairman

Jessops speaks out

Jessops tight-lipped