Flying Brands’ profits fall

Group pre-tax profits at the flower and gardening home shopping group, Flying Brands, fell from £2.74m to £480,000 in the six months to 2 July as it exits non-core markets.

Flying Brands is selling its online collectables business, Benham, and is winding down its Greetings Direct business.

At the same time, Flying Brands is expanding core business with the acquisition of the online flower business, Drake Algar for £500,000; and is planning to buy Garden Centre Online for £130,000.

Sales in the company’s garden division dipped slightly to £11.06m from £11.25m last time and the company reported its active customer database had grown by 9% to 372,000.

Sales in its gifts division were down to £3.7m from £4.43m.

Online sales, which account for 31.3% of total sales, were up 15% to £4.88m.

Stephen Cook, chief executive, said: “We continue to make progress with our strategy of transforming the group into a predominantly online retailer focused on value for money products in gardening and gifts.

“We are encouraged by the continued strong growth in our active customer base in Gardening Direct and are excited at the prospect of being able to offer our 370,000 active gardening customers a wide-range of value-for-money hardware products. We have been pleased with the rapid integration of Flowers Direct into our Gifts Division and the acquisition of Drake Algar will further strengthen our flowers business.”