Home shopping specialist Findel’s pre-tax profit before exceptionals jumped from £11.8m to £22m as it declares turnaround complete.
Sales advanced 4.8% to £514.7m in its year to March 28, driven by its Express Gifts business.
Express Gifts, which sells products including fashion, electricals and homewares, recorded a 9.6% sales uplift and a 41% surge in operating profit. Its margin increased from 8.3% to 10.6%. Findel said it was on track to hit its medium term target of growing operating margin in the 7% to 9% range across the group.
Findel chief executive Roger Siddle said: “Over the past three years we have turned the group around from its extremely difficult position through a clear focus on a series of ‘self help’ plans. The strong results we are reporting today represent a year of transition for Findel as we make the move from a turnaround phase to one of continued growth and improvement. As we look ahead, there remains significant potential for additional performance improvement to deliver further value for our shareholders.”
Despite the success of Express Gifts, the turnaround of its smaller businesses Kleeneze and sports etailer Kitbag will take longer than originally envisaged, said the retailer.
Kitbag’s losses escalated from £1.7m last year to £4.1m. Siddle said that Kitbag, which operates the retail businesses of sports clubs such as Manchester United and Sunderland, suffered a significant fall in traffic for a number of its partners whose performance on the field failed to match previous seasons.
Findel made a £2.8m provision to exit a “significantly unprofitable” contract.
Kleeneze performance also deteriorated with sales declining 5.5% and operating profit plunging by over a third to £1.3m.
The retail group has more than trebled pre-tax profit since its refinancing in 2011. Findel reduced its debt by £23m to £97m over the year. It renegotiated its bank facilities during the year to relax some of the restrictions and increase the headroom its “onerous” 2011 refinancing placed upon it.