Multi-brand home shopping company Flying Brands is expecting profits this year to be “materially below market expectations” after its traditional flowers business and bird food arm have underperformed in the first quarter of 2011.
Orders to April 1st 2011 in its Flowers & Gifts category grew from £2.3 million to £3.4 million year-on-year, but the Garden division saw orders drop 33.5 per cent on the previous year due to increased competition from supermarkets, garden centres and online specialists.
A trading statement from the company today revealed that the company is set to commence discussions with its lenders about renegotiating the terms of its banking arrangements, with like-for-like sales in the first quarter of the year down 19.8 per cent.
These figures do not include the businesses acquired by Flying Brands in 2010 such as Garden Centre Online, and the retailer is confident that its strategy to transform the business through retail partnerships and other re-branding exercises is the correct path to follow.
“Since our preliminary results announcement the business has continued to operate against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging consumer environment and increasing competition in its key markets,” the statement read.
“Overall group orders for the period to April 1st 2011 of £10.8 million (£2010: £10.7 million) are marginally ahead of the same period last year.”
Flying Brands’ business divisions comprise Flowers & Gifts, Garden and Dealtastic, the latter of which is a new website showcasing the best offers for gadgets, gifts and computer & PC accessories.