Cost pressures led to fall in full year profits at the Card Factory

The Card Factory has published its full year results.The Card Factory has published its full year results.
The Card Factory has published its full year results.
The Card Factory today revealed that its profits were hit by recurring cost pressures last year, although it still delivered a 'reasonable' sales performance.

Card Factory, the specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts, has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 January 2020.

Total group revenue during the year grew by 3.6% to £451.5m, driven by growth in the Card Factory store network. The profit before tax was £65.2m, which is less than the £68.2m recorded the year before.

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Karen Hubbard, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We delivered a reasonable sales performance in a challenging year for the high street, growing both our volume and value card market share in the mature and stable UK greeting card market.

"Our profitability was, however, impacted by a number of recurring cost pressures and other one off operational costs which we were not able to fully mitigate.

"Across the year we also developed a refreshed long term strategy for future profitable growth. The strategy is focused on strengthening both our market position and the financial performance of the UK business.

"During the second half of the year we tested our price positioning and elasticity, trailed new customer propositions, and developed partnerships to grow our UK market share through concessions and supply arrangements.

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Ms Hubbard said: " These partnerships have enabled us to serve card shoppers when they are on impulse-driven purchases away from our own retail stores.

"We have developed further our online infrastructure and capability to ensure that we are set to deliver in what is increasingly becoming a multi-channel environment. We agreed a five year contract with The Reject Shop in Australia following a successful concession trial.

"This contract represents our first international business and is a potential template for other markets. We believe there is an opportunity to leverage our current infrastructure and supply chain and build market share in other card markets across the world under the Card Factory brand.

"Since the year end, whilst we have continued to evolve our medium and longer term plans, a key focus has been on appropriately managing our business and protecting our staff through the Covid-19 crisis.

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"We have developed flexible plans which will ensure the safety of our colleagues and customers whilst allowing a phased re-opening of our stores from the 15th June in line with Government guidelines.

"Our board and management team have reacted rapidly to the very dynamic situation and I am confident that we will exit this crisis with an operating model and customer proposition that will make Card Factory the customers' first choice for greeting cards, everywhere and for all occasions, however the customer wishes to shop, although given the uncertainty we are unable to provide guidance on future performance.

"I look forward to sharing in detail our exciting plans for growth on 28 July 2020."

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