Findel revenue £457m; charges lead to £59m loss


Shares of Hyde-based online retailer Findel plc fell 4.5% after it said its revenue rose 11.3% to £457 million in the 53 weeks to March 31 — but it made a loss of £59.4 million amid a number of one-off charges.

Findel said adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations fell 10.5% to £22.2 million “following investment for future growth and digital transformation in both businesses.”

It said its Express Gifts business produced a strong sales performance driven by an increase in new customers, but Findel Education had a “challenging year in a difficult market.”

Findel shares fell to around 192p to give it a current stock market value of around £166 million, according to Bloomberg data.

Findel chairman Ian Burke said: “The group incurred individually significant charges totalling £82.2 million, primarily relating to the cost of refunding customers for their purchase of financial services products from us in the past, onerous leases, impairment of intangible assets and additional provisions from the adoption of our new bad debt provisioning model.

“As such, the loss before tax for the year was £59.4 million.

“It should be noted that the vast majority of the indivudally significant items recorded in the year do not lead to any incremental or accelerated cash outflows.”

Burke said the impact of higher input costs from the depreciation in sterling since the Brexit referendum would “feed its way through the sector” in the coming months.

“We are working hard with our suppliers and continue to review our internal cost-base to maintain Express Gifts’ proposition as a leading online value retailer,” said Burke.

“The general level of uncertainty arising from recent events and the start of the Brexit process, inevitably, is impacting consumer confidence.

“However, any weakening in this confidence would be expected to lead to value retailers such as Express Gifts gaining market share.

“Therefore, we remain confident in the opportunities for growth in our business.”