Home shopping specialist Findel has posted a 10.2% increase in third quarter sales while group revenues are up 8.9% year on year in the calendar year to date.

The sportswear and education retailer said the pace of sales in the 16 weeks to January 22 had stepped up from 7.7% in the 8 weeks to November 23 previously reported.

Findel said its online sports retailer Kitbag continued to make “significant improvements” on the previous year’s operating loss. Sales since the half-year end in September rose 19% on last year with a gross margin improvement of around 2%.

The company said the relaunch of Kitbag’s website has “not met all of our aspirations and we will increase the level of marketing spend behind this element in the final quarter which should deliver medium-term payback”.

Expanding on this, chief executive Roger Siddle said the company had expanded into new categories such as accessories but had failed to market these well. “We were moving into new categories but customers weren’t necessarily aware that we were selling them,” he said.

Findel added: “Kitbag was recently awarded new contracts to support the online sales of Olympique Marseilles football club, effective immediately, and the Tour de France, effective spring 2013. It has also recently renewed its contract with Formula 1 for three years, although the relatively small contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board will come to an end in February.”

Sales in its Express Gifts division in the third quarter increased 13.3% year on year.

Siddle said Express Gifts had experienced its “best” Christmas for the fifth year running. He cited products such as iPads, personalised pyjamas, and bedding as strong sellers.


Findel added: “Express Gifts has continued to invest in the customer value proposition, and as a result has experienced an 8% growth in active customer numbers over the last 12 months.”