It has been a consistently underwhelming six months for British home shopping company Findel as the company saw only meagre profits.
The 26 week period ending 25 September 2016 experienced a “solid” performance “in line with the first half of 2014”, the company financial report said.
Revenues rose by £191.4m during the interim, a decrease of 0.8m compared to the previous year. Profit before tax flat-lined year on year.
The British home shopping company admitted that Express Gifts performed “below expectations”, with a revenue growth of only 2.7% and “flat operating profit”. This was due partly to an unexpected slowing in demand for Findel’s autumn catalogues from new and dormant customers, which may be due to the increasing popularity of promotional events such as Black Friday. A reduction in bad debt charges was offset by investments in headcount and systems infrastructure for the purpose of future growth.
“Express Gifts has seen a remarkable improvement in its performance over the last four years and the business is confident that the recent slowdown in new customer recruitment will be reversed in future campaigns,” said Executive Chairman of Findel David Sugden. “The plans for recruitment all year round and maintaining the focus on delivering good value products to its 1.4m customers position it well for the future.”
Although the company claimed there had been good progress in rebuilding Findel Education’s competitive position, revenue in this sector of the business was down 8.2%.
“Findel Education is starting to make encouraging progress in recovering its market share,” Sugden claimed. “The steps we have taken to rationalise its warehousing overhead, combined with the key appointments made to strengthen its marketing and digital strategies provide a strong platform for significant medium-term profit growth.
The refinancing of our debt facilities together with ongoing debt reduction provide a sound financial platform to develop the full potential of these two businesses.
Overall, we remain well positioned to deliver an increase in profit before tax for the full year in line with expectations.”