Findel, the online value retail and education business, is pleased to announce the appointment of Stuart Caldwell as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with immediate effect.
Findel, the online value retail and education business, today issues a trading update covering the 42-week period ended 19 January 2018.
Express Gifts had a record Christmas sales performance, with momentum built from a strong Black Friday campaign. Year to date product sales have grown by 11.0% in line with our plans. The active customer base ended the calendar year at 1.8m, up 15% on the previous year, aided by a strategy of carefully targeted TV and online marketing. Online ordering levels during Q3 averaged 72%, up from 65% in the previous year.
The proportion of credit account customers remained strong, with interest-earning balances ending December up 13.7% on the prior year, positioning the business well for the key upcoming months for financial services revenues and collections.
Findel Education continues to see encouraging trends from its turnaround strategy focussed upon increased online trading and price competitiveness.
Net debt ended December 2017 at £76.7m, down by £5.1m from the previous year, despite strong growth in Express Gifts' receivables and outflows from the legacy customer refund programme which remain on track.
While early trading in the traditionally quiet month of January has been slightly slower than anticipated, the further strengthening of our online value retail proposition leaves us well-placed against the current consumer backdrop. The Group remains on track to deliver a full year performance in line with market expectations.