StockMarketWire.com - Home shopping and educational supplies specialist Findel reported total revenue growth of 8% in the year to end-March, 6.5% ahead of the prior year.

Profit before tax from total Group increased by 45% to £15.5m (FY12: £10.7m); continuing operations increased by 53% to £12.9m (FY12: £8.5m).

Particularly strong performance from Express Gifts, the largest business, with 13.4% growth in revenue and 15.9% growth in operating profit.

Core bank debt was reduced by £11.6m to £120.2m.

o Proceeds from the sale of the Healthcare division received upon completion post year end (April 2013) and so will further reduce borrowing in the current year

· Strong H2 performance from Express Gifts, Kitbag and Education Supplies with H2 operating profit from continuing operations £2.8m (14%) ahead of prior year period

· Earnings per share for continuing operations (before adjusting for the recent share consolidation) increased to 0.15 pence (FY12: loss per share of 0.36 pence) as a result of improved operating profitability and significantly reduced exceptional items, offset by the non-recurrence of tax credits received during FY12.

Outlook

· A good start to the current year with encouraging trends in all businesses, building on the strong H2 momentum:

o Express Gifts seeing continued growth in sales with early signs of benefits to gross margin from increased use of our Far East sourcing office

o Kleeneze rate of decline narrowing after recent management changes and revisions to the distributor offer

o Kitbag sales ahead of the same period in FY13, although end of season stock clearance impacting margin slightly

o Education Supplies experiencing growth ahead of last year in both sales and margin following new catalogue launches in April 2013 and new contract wins

Roger Siddle, Group CEO, commented: "These are very encouraging results that illustrate the extent of the progress that has been made in turning around the Group's operations over the last two years. We achieved a 20% growth in total Group operating profit and 45% growth in profit before tax.

"Given the scale of the opportunity we see in the business, we have set ourselves clear targets. Current trading remains encouraging and we are confident of making further significant progress in the coming year."




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