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Findel down after cautious update

Findel, the home shopping and education materials supplier, took a hit after the firm said it was yet to see a sustained Christmas pick-up and was cautious about the remainder of the year.

Findel, the home shopping and education materials supplier, took a hit after the firm said it was yet to see a sustained Christmas pick-up and was cautious about the remainder of the year.

However, the firm said in the last six months it had made progress with its turnaround plan.

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Overall revenue grew 8.1% to £275.1m over the period, while the company pared its loss before tax by £1m to £4.6m.

It added that current trading since the end of the period had been "broadly encouraging" with the eight weeks to 23 November seeing sales 7.7% above the previous year.

The firm has been forced to set aside £4.8m for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance by its Express Gifts business, of which £1.0m has already been refunded to affected customers during the year.

Sales at the Express Gifts division increased 18.1% in the half to £110.1m, while Kleeneze sales fell 7.1% to £24.4m.

Kitbag sales rose 11.9% to £33.7m, with its healthcare business seeing sales up 13.4% to £43.4m.

Sales at its Education supplies division were down 5.3% to £59.2m .

Chief Executive, Roger Siddle, said the group's focus was on continuing to drive forwards its turnaround plan, to maintain this trend of improving results into the second half and beyond, with the clear aim of delivering improved shareholder returns over the medium term.

"Notwithstanding on-going pressure from reduced consumer spending and cost inflation, we believe we are well placed to continue to deliver on our plans," he said.

Shares were down 13.5% at 10:45 following the announcement.

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