Findel shares soar after strong first-half sales and profits boosted by Express Gifts

Rebecca Smith
Findel investors celebrated its results
Findel investors celebrated its results (Source: Getty)

Findel shares soared 30 per cent after the online retail and education firm unveiled strong first-half sales and rising profits.

In afternoon trading, shares were up 30.7 per cent.

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The figures

The company reported like-for-like revenue up 8.4 per cent on the year before, with reported revenue up 6.1 per cent, which it said was fuelled by a successful customer recruitment programme at direct mail order and online business Express Gifts.

Adjusted profit before tax for the 26 weeks ended 29 September rose £10.1m to £11.9m.

Core net debt dropped £4.4m to £90m from £94.5m for the same period last year.

Findel said guidance for the year remained unchanged. Looking ahead, Findel said the strong first-half performance "provides the basis for sustainable medium-term profit growth".

Why it's interesting

Express Gifts is the company's largest business and it had a strong first-half, with growth in customers and revenues.

Findel said its customer base has grown by 230,000 since September 2016, and the active base is now 1.7m, while there were "particularly strong performances" from clothing sales in the first half of the year, rising 23.9 per cent on the same time last year.

And with the peak trading period ahead for Findel, the firm thinks there should be plenty of festive cheer on the horizon. Findel boss Phil Maudsley said it was "performing well against strong comparators".

Meanwhile, the turnaround of its education arm is proceeding in line with plans. Findel said new customer websites, lower prices and online price comparison tools were rolled out in the second quarter, with online ordering picking up considerably in the past few months.

What the company said

Phil Maudsley, group chief executive, said: "We set out a clear set of objectives at the time of our full-year results in June and I'm delighted to report a period of strong delivery against those plans.

"The majority of the group's revenue is generated in the second half, and our peak trading period, including Black Friday, is performing well against strong comparators. We are on track to deliver against our plan for profitable growth."

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