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Findel reports first profit for five years after strong home shopping performance

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Findel today said it had moved back into profit for the first time in five years after a strong performance in its home shopping business.

The home shopping and education supplies business reported a “particularly strong performance” from its largest business, online and catalogue retailer Express Gifts. That business’ 13.4% growth in revenues helped to lift total group revenues to £580.6m in the 52 weeks to March 29 from £537.8m at the same time last year. Pre-tax profits moved into the black, at £4.1m, from a loss of £12.1m last time.

Express Gifts saw its customer base increase by 8% during the year, while operating profits lifted by 15.9%. “Our improved offer in terms of value and range continues to prove attractive to our customers and the investments we have made in the business are beginning to bear fruit,” said Findel in its full-year statement.

Along with a strong performance from Express Gifts, ecommerce business Kitbag, which supplies replica kits online and through club shops, had made a “substantial recovery” leading to strong sales growth, but was still loss-making. “The team continues to work to address its remaining underperforming contracts and to improve further the underlying strength of the business,” said the company.

Chief executive Roger Siddle said: “These are very encouraging results that illustrate the extent of the progress that has been made in turning around the group’s operations over the last two years.”

Sales at Findel’s home distribution business Kleeneze fell by 8.4% during the year and the company said it had “arrested many years of decline” in its education supplies division.

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