FILOFAX and diary maker FLB Group wrote down the value of its business by more than £20 million after seeing a further deterioration in trading.

According to accounts filed at Companies House it decided to conduct an impairment review at the end of its most recent financial year and the Edinburgh business concluded the estimated fair value of its principal operating units was less than the related book value.

FLB, parent of Dalkeith based Letts Filofax, reported a near 11% dip in turnover from £52.9 million to £47.1m in the 12 months to January 31 this year with its operating profits dropping 37% from £3.5m to £2.2m.

In April this year FLB was bought by HSGP Investments, owned by US entrepreneur Harolde Savoy and the Letts Filofax chief executive Gordon Presly.

Writing in the FLB accounts Mr Presly said: "This change of ownership back into private hands takes the company into its next chapter following 12 years of highly leveraged private equity ownership. The company is in effect free of all senior term debt now and although trading will remain tough in our category across all major retail markets we at least will have some breathing space to focus all senior management time on running the business rather than having to manage the expectations of our financial institution partners.

The accounts show it took a further £2.2m impairment loss against the carrying value of land and buildings and a £2m charge related to restructuring costs as a warehouse in Crick, Northamptonshire, was closed.

The exceptional items pushed it into a pre-tax loss of £23.1m compared to a £2.1m profit for the previous financial year.

The US was the best performing division with sales relatively flat thanks to online growth. Germany was said to have suffered its toughest trading year ever with Scandinavian and French sales also down.

UK sales were hit by overstocking with three major retailers although online trading was "strong" in its first year

A range of "tech-friendly" products, including paper organiser and notebooks as well as a tablet computer holder were said to have sold out quickly.

FLB has doubled its budget expectations on those products for the current trading year.