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Postal strike and weather hamper growth at Flying Brands

Published: 23 October 2007
Flying Brands, the Jersey-based home shopping group, has said today its trading performance has been hit by the poor summer and strike action at the Royal Mail.
Postal strike and weather hamper growth at Flying Brands
Since its last announcement on July 27, 2007, it said group trading has been so affected it will have a negative impact on full-year figures.

"Despite our best efforts to communicate with customers and offer them alternative, courier-delivered flower bouquets, the recent Royal Mail strike disruptions have had a material negative impact on demand for the Group's products," chief executive Mark Dugdale said in a statement.

He continued: "This has been driven by both the delay in catalogues reaching the Group's customers and, more significantly, the Group's ability to deliver live product for both the Flying Flowers and Gardening Direct businesses."

Flying Brands had to subsequently cancel orders and suffer increases in wastage volumes.

The poor weather in August also affected the business leading to a 'depressed' customers' response to Gardening Direct's Autumn marketing campaign.

"An improved performance in September has not offset this negative impact," he added.

Mr Dugdale said trading performance for the second-half of the year depended upon the reliabilty of the postal service, and particularly the Flying Flowers Christmas campaign.

He said: "Flying Brands' marketing proposition relies heavily on shipping live products in narrow delivery windows and hence the impact of even a short postal strike has had adverse consequences on the Group.

"Consumer confidence will also have been dented, which makes trading in what is already an uncertain retail environment extremely challenging."

However despite outlining his concerns, the ceo drew comfort from Greetings Direct in Australia, which he expects to improve in 2008, and trading in the other brands (Listen2, Benham, Garden Bird Supplies and Sarah Raven's Kitchen and Garden), which he said are currently in line with expectations and expected to continue for the remainder of the financial year.

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