Following the sale of Kitbag for £14m earlier this year, Findel has reported strong full year results.
In the year to 25 March 2016, total group revenue rose by 0.9% from £406.9m to £410.6m year-on-year. Profits before tax fell 10.6% from £27.7m in 2015 to £24.8m.
It's Express Gifts business recorded a continually changing performance through the year but ended positively. Product sales rose2.3% to £224.9m and financial services revenue grew by 7.6% to £88.1m.
While some losses were also recorded, sales since the beginning of 2016 returned to healthy levels, in line with medium-term objectives.
Findel's second business Findel Education had a slightly tougher year which reflected slowing market conditions. Sales fell by 8.1%, although customer numbers in key School brands stabilised.
Overall, the retail group noted that a number of actions taken in its full year to improve the two businesses are already producing improved performance. As a result, full year guidance for 2017 remains unchanged and in line with expectations.
“In terms of financial performance, last year was more challenging than we expected. However, considerable progress has been made in strengthening the Group in a number of areas that will improve longer term prospects" commented Findel Executive Chairman David Sugden..
"We now have a well-financed group focused solely on the growth of two core businesses – Express Gifts and Findel Education. We believe that this represents a turning point in the development of Findel, as, with the successful sale of Kitbag, we can now focus entirely on generating enhanced shareholder value from strong organic growth in our two core businesses.
"With the progress made in the business fundamentals, together with the actions we have taken to address last year’s profit performance, we are confident that we will return to profitable growth in the current and future years.”
Sugden is due to retire from his role at the upcoming Annual General Meeting, with the search for his replacement currently taking place.