Home shopping group Findel’s pre-tax profit before exceptional items dropped from £11.7m to £7m and its three year turnaround begins.

The figure is taken before exceptional items and closed operations are deducted; the group made a £1.4m loss for the year ending April 1 when those items are removed.  

Sales were down 2.6% at £532.6m as Findel’s spiralling debt led to stock shortages as credit terms were significantly reduced or withdrawn.

Findel group chief executive Roger Siddle said the results were “a remarkably resilient performance” for the group which secured a £80.5m refinancing in March to reduce its spiralling debt. It reduced its net debt from £309.6m to £227.8m over the year.

Siddle said the new funds, of which £40m has been used to clear debt and £35m invested in improvements within the business, gives “a strong platform to drive results”.

Findel has already begun investing in improvements such as upgrading systems within its Express Gifts business, and trialling a new recruitment process to boost the number of distributors in its Kleeneze business.

Findel chairman David Sugden said: “The board is pleased with progress to date with all major initiatives on track. The current year has started well and the group is trading in line with expectations.

“Whilst the external environment remains challenging, we are confident that we are following the right path to achieve improved shareholder returns over the medium term.”