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Findel sales boosted by strong Express Gifts performance

Findel, the home shopping and education business has reported a “good” first half performance with overall like-for-like sales up 6% in the 27 weeks to 30 September.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Findel sales boosted by strong Express Gifts performance

In trading update ahead of its interim results announcement, the company said its Express Gifts business saw like-for-like sales climb by 12% in the period. Total sales, including an improved financial services yield, were also up by 12%.

Express Gifts' customer base has risen by 12% since the start of 2016 with the growth driven by a combination of an increase in the established customer base and a strong response to a new recruitment campaign.

Findel said Express Gifts is now well on the way to achieving its target of recruiting 100,000 new customers, on a net basis, for the full-year. It added: “Given the strong progress on customer recruitment and the operational improvements introduced over the past twelve months, the business is well positioned for the remainder of the year with its peak trading weeks still to come.”

The company said its education business improved its trading performance in the second quarter, which is its peak period due to the commencement of the new school year. In the second quarter, revenue from its classroom and specialist UK brands were marginally ahead of the same period in 2015, with a moderation in the rate of decline in the lower-margin school brands.

Adjusting for the revised timing of sales under the Sainsbury's Active Kids contract, Findel Education’s total sales in the first half were down by circa 5.5% with sales in the second quarter down by around 3%. Findel said: “Whilst pricing conditions remain extremely competitive and budgetary pressures persist, we are encouraged by continued progress, and particularly by the market share gains now being made by our classroom and specialist brands.”

Findel said its search for an independent executive chairman to succeed David Sugden is ongoing and it expects to make a further announcement shortly.

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