Sales inched up 1 percent at multititle catalogue group Findel, from £532.6 million to £537.8 million in the year ended 30th March. The revenue growth, before exceptional items and terminated operations, was largely due to a strong performance in the Express Gifts business, which saw sales rise 8.3 percent and operating profit increase 18.2 percent. Overall pretax profit at the group was up 53 percent to £10.7 million as its turnaround plans start to bear fruit. Findel also announced a solid start to the new financial year, with group sales up by 6.5 percent for the first eight weeks and “encouraging current trading” in all businesses.
In related news, legacy issues identified in unprofitable contracts, margin management and inventory control were all to blame for an operating loss of £4.2 million at Findel-owned Kitbag, compared with a profit of £1.9 million last year. To combat the decline, the sportswear etailer has hired a new trading director to improve the focus on margin and relaunch the Kitbag website.
British brand Ted Baker saw revenues soar 14.6 percent in the 19-week period from 29th January to 9th June, compared to the same time last year. During the period, Ted Baker opened additional concessions in the US, Spain and Ireland and continued to expand into new international markets, opening its first store in Tokyo, Japan, and new concessions with department stores in the Netherlands and South Korea. Direct Commerce recently compared the websites of Ted Baker in the UK and the US, for our conclusions, read our blog post.
Sainsbury’s is moving into the ebook space with the acquisition of online books platform Anobii from HMV. Following the purchase, Sainsbury’s will hold a 64 percent stake in the social network and online retailer. The acquisition supports Sainsbury’s push into the digital entertainment market following the acquisition of online entertainment company Global Media Vault in October 2011 and the launch of its music download service earlier this year.
*Mandatory fields your email address will not be published. All comments are moderated and may be edited. Comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Catalogue Development Centre Ltd.