Mike Ashley-backed Findel shares jump after Express Gifts sales increase

 
Alys Key
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Sales in home retail have improved (Source: Studio/Findel)

Bargain retailer Findel shares climbed more than nine per cent this morning after the company issued an upbeat trading update.

The announcement will please shareholders, including billionaire Mike Ashley whose company Sports Direct owns a 30 per cent stake in the business.

Ahead of its annual general meeting today, Findel said that it had seen customer and revenue growth of more than 10 per cent in the 20 weeks to 18 August in its Express Gifts business, which includes online platforms Ace and Studio.

Read more: Findel sells Kitbag to American buyers for £11.6m

The company also said that its education supplies business, which comprises a number of brands selling stationery, science equipment and craft materials, had improved following a difficult start to the year. It also said it was "making good progress on the various pricing and cost initiatives designed to increase its profitability".

Investors liked what they heard. Shares were trading up 9.6 per cent today.

It is the second sign this month that Mike Ashley's diverse portfolio of investments could be paying off, after shares in Game Digital rocketed just a month after Ashley bought a stake in the business.

Mike Ashley has previously tried to use his stake in the business to shake up the company's board, but his proposals were rejected by other shareholders, while Findel refused his own bid for chairman last year.

Read more: Chairman to trigger shareholder showdown at Sports Direct AGM

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