Home shopping retailer Findel narrowed its losses in its first half with sales jumping 5.2% as its turnaround plan gathered pace.
Losses were reduced from £6m to £400,000 as sales climbed 5.2% to £243.6m in the six months to September 27.
Revenue increased for the fourth consecutive half.
Express Gifts, Findel’s largest business, delivered a “strong performance” with sales soaring 10.7% and operating profits up £3.8m.
Kleeneze’s sales decline slowed to 3.5% while sports etailer Kitbag had a “challenging period”.
It said that Kitbag faced a “considerable reduction” in demand from the fans of some of its major partners where the teams’ on-pitch performance had not matched previous years. Combined with the lack of the European Championships or Olympics, this contributed to a 6.3% sales drop and a fall into the red with a £2.9m loss.
Findel group chief executive Roger Siddle said: “We are very encouraged by these results and the sustained progress against our turnaround plans. In particular, Express Gifts has started the Christmas period strongly and is well positioned to take advantage of the busy period ahead.
“These interim results represent the fourth consecutive half-year period of year-on-year revenue growth since launching our turnaround plan three years ago. Express Gifts and Education, some 75% of group revenues combined, are seeing improved momentum whilst Kitbag and Kleeneze still need to show progress.
“We see further potential in all group companies and as a management team we are very focused on ensuring these businesses fulfil their potential in the coming years. Overall, we are delivering the turnaround and deleveraging the business, remaining on track to hit our 7% to 9% operating margin targets in 2014/15.”