Online retail group Findel has reported a rise in its profits and revenues for the 2018/19 financial year, driven by value retailer Studio.
The value-led group posted revenue growth of 5.7% to £506.8m for the 52 weeks to 29 March.
Adjusted operating profit increased by 14.4% to £38.4m year on year for the period, while adjusted profit before tax went up 17.7% to £28.8m.
Overall net debt rose by 0.5% to £233.4m, while core net debt fell to £57.4m from £73.8m in 2017/18 after strong working capital generation.
Studio continues to drive group performance, producing strong growth in customer numbers, sales and profits.
The company’s focus on value and investment in digital led to online customer ordering increasing to 75% of product revenue, up from 68% the year before.
Adjusted operating profit margin for the business increased to 9.3% from 8.6% in 2018.
Studio has been the main customer-facing brand of Findel’s largest business, Express Gifts, which rebranded as Studio in April.
“We think the time is now right to strengthen Studio’s identity further and so will be proposing that we change the Group’s name from Findel to Studio Retail Group at the upcoming annual general meeting”, group chairman Ian Burke said.
Phil Maudsley, group chief executive, commented: “These strong results reflect the clear transformation of the Group into a digital-first, value led retailer.
“In particular, Studio has prospered in current market conditions. We have rapidly grown the active customer base to 1.9 million over the last three years, with new customers drawn to the incredible value we offer, while existing customers are shopping with us more frequently and across wider ranges.
“Our education business has also adopted a digital-first mentality with an objective to save schools time and money to win back customers and I am delighted with the progress that continues to be made.
“We look ahead with confidence and ambition, as shown by our proposed name change to Studio Retail Group. We remain focused on our customers’ needs, and our investment in digital technologies and delivering on our strategic objectives will underpin profitable growth over the medium term.”