EXCLUSIVE jewellery firm Theo Fennell yesterday blamed its previous management for losing £3.3m on a series of failed projects and dragging the business into the red.<br /><br />The group posted a pre-exceptional loss of £2m for the year ended 31 March, compared to a profit of £1.9m the year before. <br /><br />And a series of ill-judged expansionary plans, at a time when the outlook for luxury goods was weakening, forced the group to also announce a £1.3m writedown. <br /><br />Barbara Snoad, who stepped in as chief executive of the jeweller in May, said: “A lot of money went into aborted projects and failed moves into fragrance. It’s not about copying other peoples’ success – it’s about our own strengths.” <br /><br />On Snoad’s appointment she immediately reinstated founder and jeweller Theo Fennell as creative director, who walked out in February 2008 due to a disagreement with the previous management.<br /><br />Chairman Peter Hambro said: “With Theo Fennell back on board we shall re-engage with loyal clients who, during his absence, have had little to do with the business.”<br /><br />The departure of Fennell meant the business was forced to move into other sectors, introducing a fragrance line and selling watches in concessions in a bid to diversify the business. <br /><br />The group’s London Westfield store closed within months of opening at the beginning of this year.<br /><br />Despite the losses, Snoad said she was confident of turning the business around: “It’s going to be about concentrating on costs. We’re going back to basics and selling jewellery.”<br /><br />The group said it would launch a new range in the next two weeks.