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Sunday 18 August 2019

Card Factory sales flat while profits decline

The greetings card retailer has been affected by a drop in high street footfall.

Card Factory had a record Valentine’s Day this year (Myung Jung Kim/PA)
Card Factory had a record Valentine’s Day this year (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter

Card Factory’s profits declined last year as its sales were held back by the challenging high street conditions.

The retailer reported an 8.3% decline in profit before tax to £66.6 million for the year to January 31.

Like-for-like sales were flat, affected by declining footfall on the high street.

But revenue was up 3.3% to £436 million, as the company continued to roll out new stores.

It opened 51 new stores in the period, taking its total estate to 972. It is working towards a target of 1,200 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Profits were also negatively affected by the Getting Personal online business, which saw a decline in sales.

In contrast, online sales on the core Card Factory website grew by 56.3%.

Chief executive Karen Hubbard said margins would be improved through initiatives in the current year including more efficient production techniques.

She also reiterated that earnings in the current financial year are expected to be flat on 2018’s performance, due to continuing cost pressures.

Updating on current trading, she said: “Whilst the new financial year is just two months old, we are satisfied with the start we have made and are particularly pleased with record seasonal performances from Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

Shares in the firm were up 1.7% in early trading on Tuesday.

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