- Findel saw pre-tax profits surge by a third, led by 'strong' performance from its studio division leading up to Christmas.

For the 12 months ended 29 March, pre-tax profits rose 33% to £29.4m and revenue rose 5.7% to £506.8.

The growth in revenue was driven by a 'particularly strong trading performance from studio in the period leading up to Christmas,' the company said.

The improved performance in its studio division comes as the transition to focus on value and investment in digital led to online customer ordering increasing to 75% of product revenue, up from 68% last year, with 92% of new customers placing their first orders online, up from 84%.

Its education business saw online sales rise from about 50% to over 66%, with the main schools brand seeing over 75% of orders coming online, the company said. The active customer base rose by 8%.

Core net debt was slashed by £16.4m to £57.4m after 'strong working capital generation,' the company said.

'We look ahead with confidence and ambition, as shown by our proposed name change to Studio Retail Group. We remain focused on our customers' needs, and our investment in digital technologies and delivering on our strategic objectives will underpin profitable growth over the medium term,' said Phil Maudsley, Group Chief Executive.

At 8:22am: [LON:FDL] Findel PLC share price was +4.25p at 197.25p

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