TV shopping group Ideal Shopping Direct is confident that it can build on its successful turnaround and is looking for more acquisitions after returning to full-year profit.
Chief executive Mike Hancox said that its niche categories of crafts and gardening, in which it recently acquired gardening retailer Lead The Good Life, are continuing to help drive growth.
Ideal Shopping Direct’s sales rose 9.2% to £103.3m in the year to January 3, helped by a strong second half. In the first 10 weeks of its current financial year sales grew 17.5% - 8% on a like-for-like basis. It made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m compared with a loss of £4m the previous year. Sales at Lead The Good Life soared 54.1%.
Hancox said: “We are very optimistic for this year with further sales growth and margin growth and we remain a very cash generative business.”
Fairfax analyst Sophie Tomkins upgraded her profit expectations for the current year by 22% from £3.7m to £4.5m. She said Ideal Shopping Direct had confirmed an underlying second-half gross margin of 41.3% and strong underlying trading into 2010.