New CEO takes helm at Flying Brands as profits tumble


Flying Brands has a new chief executive. Nonexecutive director
Stephen Cook stepped into the position on 18th February,
replacing Tricia Killen, who left after less than a year in the
job.

One of Cook’s first assignments was the unenviable task of
announcing Flying Brands’ annual results to the City and
confirming that it would not pay a dividend to shareholders this
year. The company, whose catalogues include Flying Flowers,
Gardening Direct, and Listen2, posted an 8-percent decline in
annual revenue, to £42.5 million. Even worse, profit before
tax for ongoing businesses plummeted by 53 percent, from
£3.2 million in 2007 to £1.5 million.

In its financial statement, Cook said Flying Brands had made some
progress in reducing its costs but that more had to be done. He
said he was confident that further savings could be made,
although he did not specify in what areas.

In the meantime, Flying Brands is forging ahead with cross-brand
marketing initiatives, aiming to be “smarter with its
marketing spend”. One new initiative is an order
acknowledgement programme whereby a customer receives an email
thanking him for his order while also promoting the company’s
other brands. It also plans to increase off-the-page advertising.

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