Card Factory on target for 50 stores

GREETING cards retailer Card Factory, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in May, said it is on track to open 50 new stores by the year end as it improves the quality and range of its merchandise.

The Wakefield-based company said it made a pre-tax loss of £7.9m in the six months to July 31 which reflects expenses of £22.8m relating to the flotation and a debt refinancing.

Like-for-like sales rose 2.6 per cent and total revenues were up 8.9 per cent to £137.2m.

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It opened 36 new stores over the half year bringing its total estate to 749 and said it has a strong pipeline of new store opportunities.

The group is also developing its online sales channels

CEO Richard Hayes said: “Having completed our flotation on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, it is pleasing to report a strong set of maiden interim results.

“We continue to deliver on each of our four pillars of growth – growing like-for-like sales; rolling out new stores; delivering business efficiencies; and increasing our online business.

“The continued growth and further improvement in our retail proposition is particularly satisfying given that this was achieved during a period in which we completed the IPO process. This reflects the strength of the whole Card Factory team and their support and commitment is greatly appreciated and valued by the board.

“We remain confident of the Group’s future prospects.”