The new chief executive of passport and banknote firm De La Rue has pledged a "full review" of the business and ramped up cost-cutting as the group revealed it slumped to a half-year loss.

De La Rue posted a £12.1 million pre-tax loss for the six months to September 28 against profits of £7.1 million a year earlier.

Chief executive Clive Vacher said the group had been hit by a raft of management changes and an increasingly competitive banknote printing market, but is expecting a better second-half performance.

READ MORE: Oil and gas minnow fuels interest in big North Sea prospects

The group is forecasting operating profits of between £20 million and £25 million for the full-year.

Mr Vacher said: "The business has experienced an unprecedented period of change with the chairman, CEO, senior independent director and most of the executive team leaving or resigning in the period.

"This has led to inconsistency in both quality and speed of execution.

"The new board is working to stabilise the management team, which we believe will take some time."

He added: "Between now and the end of calendar first quarter 2020, we will complete a full review of the business and design a comprehensive turnaround plan for the company."

Shares in De La Rue plummeted 18% in early trading after its first-half results.

Retailer Pets at Home has said it expects profit at the top end of expectations after seeing strong half-year sales and earnings growth.

The group reported a 7.8% jump in half-year like-for-like retail sales, with vet group sales up 6.4%.

READ MORE: Herald Entrepreneur: 'With a tech start-up you need to be scientific and objective'

Underlying pre-tax profits leapt 18.9% higher to £45 million over the six months to October 28.

It now expects full-year underlying profit at the top of the £87 million to £93 million range.

Pets shares jumped 10% higher in early trading after the profit cheer.

Chief executive Peter Pritchard said: "We have executed our plans well and this has been reflected in the strong customer sales growth across the group."

He added: "We have much to look forward to in 2019-20 and beyond, and we now expect to return to profit growth a year ahead of our original plan."

Demand for floor tiles has taken a big hit in the month since the general election was called, the head of one of the country's biggest tiling companies has said.

Topps Tiles chief executive Matthew Williams revealed that sales in the first eight weeks of its financial year, which started in early October, had fallen 7.2%.

READ MORE: £2m boost for Scottish venison firm

"At the start of the new financial year, trading conditions have become more challenging, with consumer demand weakening further since the General Election was called in late October," Mr Williams said.

The drop in sales compares to a 1.9% fall in the corresponding period last year. The company said that a reduction in political uncertainty would be crucial to its outlook.

"Whilst we expect external events will continue to weigh on consumer confidence for the immediate future, we remain confident that our market-leading retail offer and growing commercial operations give us a strong platform," Mr Williams said.

The comments came as Topps Tiles revealed that revenue rose 1.1% to £219.2 million in the last financial year while pre-tax profit shrunk 1.6% to £12.5 million.

Despite relatively flat results, the company was able to find £4.9 million to pay down its debt, year-on-year, to £11.3 million.