Internet sales rocket
Home shopping group Findel unveiled a record year in its preliminary results for the 12 months to March 31.

Pre-tax profit, excluding restructuring costs, rose 10 per cent to£56 million, compared with£50.7 million the year before. Sales were up 11 per cent to£587 million.

At its home shopping division, sales soared 29 per cent to£338.4 million, compared with£262.8 million the year before. Operating profit, excluding restructuring costs, also rose 29 per cent to£48.4 million, compared with£37.4 million. The group's home shopping internet sales now account for more than 30 per cent of its core business and this is expected to rise to 50 per cent during this year. The outcome of a strategic review is due to be revealed at the end of the summer.

Findel chairman Keith Chapman said: 'Findel has gone through a period of significant change over the past year. We have made several strategic acquisitions of industry leading brands including Letterbox,, IWOOT and Kleeneze, which have transformed our Home Shopping Division. We have established through these acquisitions substantial cash with order business and have grown our internet sales into a core sales channel. We are undergoing a major integration programme to maximise the synergies from these acquisitions.'

As a result of the acquisition and restructuring costs during the year, overall pre-tax profit was slashed to£17.5 million, from£35.1 million the previous year. However, the company said current group sales, including acquisitions, have rocketed 32 per cent - ahead of the equivalent six-week period last year.

Chapman added: 'We have delivered considerable progress this year and strengthened our position in all three of our core markets. We remain excited about the year ahead and the opportunities for the group.'