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A Supplier Which Sorts Schools and Shopping May Be Set to Soar

By Malcolm Stacey | Friday 6 July 2018

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Hello, Share Smoothies. There are some companies which, not by design, still end up with a low profile. As it’s my humble policy to bring your attention to hidden gems, I proffer for your further investigation a company called Findel (FDL). It used to be called Fine Art Developments.

It has a two-pronged attack on its customers’ purses. The first is an online and catalogue gift service, called Express Gifts. Though its brand is Studio. The other arm is Findel Education. This flogs equipment, like sports gear, to schools, nurseries, hospitals and charities. It doesn’t make stuff itself but sells it on.

The group is based in Lancashire and got going in 1962, giving time to build proper experience. Both Express Gifts and the education supply set-up are big enterprises, the schools outfit being the second largest of its kind in the UK. The total market cap is around £245 million.

The advantage to shareholders of owning shares in a company with two entirely different markets is that if one fails, the other could still prosper. A kind of safety net, then.

Findel Education has had a few setbacks but is getting back on course now. The latest full-year report last month showed the rate of decline in its main school brands slowing from 10% in the first half to 2% in the second. The yearly figures show that catalogue and online gift sales have increased by a third in the last two years to 1.8 million.

I suppose a snag might be that schools in Blighty are currently strapped for cash and it’s hard to see that position easing. But Findel has plenty of customers overseas, where it should benefit from Britain’s reputation for providing strong education.

And now it's time to learn a bit more in the Punter’s Return.

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