Home shopping firm Findel has revealed ‘a year of progress’ in its latest annual accounts for the 52 weeks ended 25 March 2016, with its Express Gifts arm of the business ‘ending strongly’ after a ‘mixed’ year.

Overall sales for the year grew by 0.9% to £410.6m from £406.9m, while operating profit experienced a decline by 14.3% to £9.2m, with pre-tax profit also down by 10.6% to £24.8m from £27.7m year-on-year.

During the year under review, the company sold its Kitbag business for £14m, with the group now solely focussed on its remaining two core businesses, Express Gifts and Findel Education.

Express Gifts, which sells a range or homewares and furniture items, saw product sales rise by 2.3% to £224.9m for the year, while operating profit suffered due to the impact of foreign exchange, down by £1.7m to £31.7m.

David Sugden, chairman at Findel plc – who plans to step down later this year with his successor in an advanced search stage, commented on the results: “In terms of financial performance, last year was more challenging than we expected. However, considerable progress has been made in strengthening the Group in a number of areas that will improve longer-term prospects.

“We now have a well-financed group focused solely on the growth of two core businesses – Express Gifts and Findel Education. We believe that this represents a turning point in the development of Findel. With the progress made in the business fundamentals, together with the actions we have taken to address last year’s profit performance, we are confident that we will return to profitable growth in the current and future years.”