If you’d invested in: Findel and N Brown Group

If only…

Findel (LSE: FDL) has two main divisions – one selling educational goods and the other (Express Gifts) selling various products online and by mail order. In the year to 30 March, like-for-like sales grew by almost 6% to £479m. Pre-tax profits rose to £22.1m compared with a £59.4m loss last year. The gifts arm grew its active customer base by 200,000 to 1.8 million, and like-for-like sales rose by 9.6%. In contrast to the wider retail market, Findel’s clothing and footwear ranges were popular – sales rose by 14.2%. The share of online sales at its education unit rose to 50% from 19%.

Be glad you didn’t…

Retailer N Brown Group (LSE: BWNG) sells clothing online, by catalogue, and in physical stores. Its brands include JD Williams and Jacamo. In January it reported a 3.2% rise in turnover for the 18 weeks to the start of the year, lifted by record sales over Christmas. Heavy spending on promotions to attract more shoppers hit profit margins, however, leading to a plunge in the share price. Last month N Brown said it had begun a review of whether it should close all of its 20 stores following “disappointing footfall” and instead focus on becoming a “global online retailer”.

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