Department store Beales has warned it could collapse into administration if it fails to find a last-minute buyer, with around 1,000 UK jobs at risk.

The Bournemouth-based retailer is understood to be hopeful that a rescue deal can be secured, but could still be forced to enter insolvency.

Its only Scottish store occupies part of a building in St John Street that previously housed McEwens, Perth’s former flagship department store.

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The chain, which has 21 further stores nationwide, is the latest retailer to feel the pressure of soaring business rates and declining high street footfall amid an increasingly brutal period for the sector.

Last month, Beales hired advisers at KPMG to lead a strategic review in order to find a profitable future for the business.

The company is currently in talks with landlords over rent reductions and it has been reported that the firm also spoken with two potential buyers, including a venture capital investor and a rival retail business.

Chief executive Tony Brown told lThe Daily Echo that the retailer has struggled with difficult trading conditions and criticised the "lunacy" of high business rates.

He said: "We are confident that we have a solution for the business that will create a stronger if leaner Beales.

"We hope to have a stronger business at the end of the process. I can't predict which stores will stay and which stores won't because it all depends on landlords and local government.

"We're going through a process and we hope to be able to restructure the business for a profitable future."

The retailer was taken into private ownership by Mr Brown in 2018, 23 years after the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Flybe executives have held crunch talks with the Government in a bid to save the airline.

Discussions were held with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT) over the weekend to see whether they could provide or facilitate emergency financing, the PA news agency said.

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Around 2,000 people are employed by the airline.

The Exeter-based carrier was bought by a consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital in February 2019 following poor financial results.

The consortium, known as Connect Airways, paid just £2.2 million for Flybe's assets but pledged to pump tens of millions of pounds into the loss-making airline to turn it around.

The holding of rescue talks with the Government indicates the financing requirements have become greater than expected.

Flights operated as normal on Monday morning.

A Flybe spokeswoman said: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned."

Flybe did not comment directly on the rescue talks.

William Hill said profits for the past year are expected to have surpassed expectations after it was buoyed by favourable sporting results in December.

The gambling giant said this helped to boost its retail division and increase total group profits.

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It expects operating profits from continuing operations in 2019 to have been between £143 million and £148 million.

The company said it made "good progress" despite a challenging regulatory backdrop which saw its retail business hit by a heavy reduction in the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

In April, the Government enforced a reduction of the maximum stake of these terminals from £100 to £2, significantly affecting the revenues of high street betting shops.

William Hill said in November that it was "on track" following the closure of 700 high street shops, which it said would mitigate the impact of changes to FOBT rules.

The betting firm said on Monday that its retail business is now expected to post profits ahead of its forecast of between £50 million and £70 million.