Value retail and education group Findel has forecasted its overall operating profit has grown by 20% in the year to 20 March.
The Mike Ashley-backed group, which will announce its full year results on 6 June, said its performance is expected to be at the “upper end” of expectations, driven by strong growth in customers and sales at its retail arm Express Gifts.
It noted that trading in its fourth quarter was “quieter” after making changes to its marketing activity, but the business was boosted by stronger collections and recoveries from its credit receivables.
Findel sells a mix of in-house and third-party clothing and footwear brands through its Studio website, which operates through Express Gifts.
Net debt at its year-end stood at £74m, down by around £7m from the previous year. The group said this was partly down to “favourable timing differences”, with outflows from a legacy customer refund programme remaining “on track”.