A FIRM that produces and sells interactive whiteboards all over the world has announced pre-tax losses of more than £165million.

Promethean in Blackburn has seen sales plummet almost 30 per cent in two years.

Shares at the Whiteburk Industrial Estate-based firm, which were 200p in 2010, were 17.9p yesterday.

Bosses at the firm, which employs 257 people in Black- burn and 670 worldwide, said there would be no redundancies as the company planned to become cash-generative in the future.

Chief executive Jim Marshall said the figures for 2012 were expected to be worse than they actually were and after cutting costs by 18.5 per cent and increasing their range of products they were hopeful of a bright future.

He said: “Market conditions were tough throughout 2012, and continue to be so, with education budgets remaining under pressure and increased competition for interactive hardware technology.

“This is reflected in our results for the year.

“Against this backdrop, we maintained strong cash management and took rapid action to implement a cost reduction programme and streamline our operations.

“Full year operating costs were down 18.5 per cent and, in the second half, they were down 37.5 per cent.

“The full benefits of these cost reductions will be felt in 2013.”

Mr Marshall said despite cutting costs the firm was still able to research and develop new products.

He said: “Promethean is responding to a rapidly changing market with multiple initiatives to build on our presence as an education solutions provider “It will take time for the impact of our software initiatives to be felt and 2013 will be a year of transition in this respect.

“We expect market conditions to remain tough.

“We will therefore continue managing our business prudently to protect our profitability and cash flows.”