Findel revenues rise

Findel's first half revenues rose to £213.0m - up from £191.4m - but pre-tax profits before exceptional items and revaluation of forward foreign exchange contracts fell to £1.9m from £3.4m.

Highlights: - Continued strong performance from Express Gifts, the group's largest business, with first-half like-for-like product revenue up 12.0% (reported revenue up 18.7%)

* Full-year recruitment target of 100,000 additional customers already achieved; with 12% increase in active customer base

* Sales from new and established customers continuing to generate strong growth during the peak Christmas trading period; orders during Black Friday week up 36%, a record week for the business

* Full FCA licence approval received in October

- Findel Education seeing improving trends in overall sales as the year progresses

* Total revenue for first-half on a like-for-like basis down by 5.4% (on a reported basis down by 4.2%); Q2 like-for-like revenue down by 3%

* Classroom and Specialist brands showing year-on-year growth in Q2 and market share growth

* Market pricing conditions for the group's School brands remain challenging, with first-half revenue decline of 10%

* Warehouse consolidation successfully completed; will provide significant uplift to the profitability of the division for FY2018 and beyond

Executive chairman David Sugden said: "We are pleased to report a half of significant progress across the Group. The strong trading performance of Express Gifts is extremely encouraging. It represents continued delivery against our digital strategy and gives us confidence to further increase investment in marketing and customer recruitment. The new management team in Education are also making good progress against a challenging market backdrop. Looking ahead, we remain confident that the ongoing investment in both our businesses will deliver improved returns for shareholders."

At 9:31am: (LON:FDL) Findel PLC share price was -3.25p at 186.5p