Findel overhauls recruitment strategy

Despite seeing profits double and sales from continuing
operations rise 16 percent, multibrand marketer Findel described
its results for the fiscal year ended 31st March as
“disappointing”. Investors were apparently
disappointed too: Shares in the company, whose titles include
Ace, The Cotswold Company and Studio, slid 12 percent following
the news that bad debt at the group was worse than originally

Findel had to increase its debt provisions by £5 million
after it emerged that new customers using its credit facilities
failed to meet payments for goods bought in the run-up to
Christmas. To guard against a repeat performance Findel is
cutting back on customer recruitment, instead encouraging larger
and more frequent orders from its established customer base.

Within the home shopping division, sales from continuing
operations were up 22 percent on the previous year, to
£403.5 million. Benchmark operating profit in the division
rose nearly 6 percent, from £47.6 million in fiscal 2007 to
£50.3 million. Benchmark operating profit in the educational
supplies division was up 15 percent, to £26.7 million, and
up 66 percent, to £3.1 million, in the healthcare division.

Findel is further investing in its home shopping division and has
committed £3 million to the introduction of an IT
infrastructure that will be used by Findel Direct’s,, Letterbox, Cotswold Company and Confetti
brands as well as by the Studio and Ace credit businesses. The
new infrastructure will allow Findel to capitalise on
“considerable marketing and cross-selling
opportunities” among its 2.5 million customers.


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