Home shopping group Findel’s full year sales edged up 1.1%.
Findel’s sales growth accelerated to 2.4% in its second half ending March 30, driven by its Express Gifts business.
The retailer said it was encouraged by the progress of its turnaround plan, particularly at Express Gifts.It said: “We expect the group to report improved results for the second half of the year compared to 2010/11, which is expected to confirm the start of a trend leading to improved shareholder returns over the medium term.”
Express Gifts has boosted customer numbers by making its pricing more competitive and improving its offer.
Sales in the second half have grown 11% at Express Gifts. For the full year, sales were up 9% on last year after a particularly strong Christmas.
It said its investment in its gross margin in Express Gifts was now offset by its overall cash margin.
Mail order business Kleeneze sales declined slowed. In the first half sales dropped 9%, however the decline slowed to 1% in the second half. Findel has increased the number of catalogue distributors to help return Kleeneze to growth.
Its online sports retailer Kitbag’s sales increased over the year, however they fell 1% in the second year. The retailer, which also operates stores and websites on behalf of football teams including Manchester City, Everton and Nottingham Forest, will report a significant operating loss for the year.
Kitbag’s new management team, led by Andy Anson, the man who led England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, who joined the retailer last year, is dealing with legacy issues including unprofitable contracts and is refocusing the business on growing its cash margin.
Kitbag said renegotiation of its partner contracts is progressing well and it has signed a new exclusive with Aston Villa. In golf, Kitbag is supporting the next Ryder Cups and has renewed its contract with The Open Championship.
It is in advanced discussions with two major US organisations in other sports to service their European websites.
The group will incur exceptional costs of £13m over the year associated with the refinancing of the group, rationalisation of its property portfolio and other restructuring.
The board expects the group’s full-year profit before tax to be within the range of current market expectations.