Home shopping and sports-kit retailer Findel Plc said sales in the second half rose 4.5 percent so far as its Express Gifts business saw the strongest Christmas sales in four years.

The multi-channel retailer, which trades across home shopping, education and healthcare divisions, said sales at its largest business -- Express Gifts -- for the 15 weeks to January 17 rose 11.1 percent from a year ago.

The company also said its active customer numbers rose 5.4 percent over the last 12 months on improved pricing.

We expect this growth in both sales and customer numbers to result in the delivery of increased total cash margin and a strong operating profit performance for the year, Findel said in a statement on Wednesday.

In November, Findel had posted wider adjusted pretax loss for the first half on lower sales.

Findel shares, which have lost more than half their value over the last six months, closed at 3.6 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the business at over 60 million pounds.

(Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)