Footfall falls and online sales rise with Card Factory

Card Factory plans to open 50 stores this year
Card Factory plans to open 50 stores this year
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Card Factory reported a 56.3 per cent growth in online sales and an increased market share despite flat like-for-like sales and a drop in footfall.

Revenue grew three per cent for the Wakefield-based retailer but pre-tax profits fell 83 per cent per cent to £66.6m.

The total dividend per share, including proposed final, is at maintained at 9.3p

Like for like sales were impacted by reduced footfall despite a 51 net new stores opened in the period, bringing the total store estate to 972 (including seven in the Republic of Ireland).

Karen Hubbard, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We delivered a robust performance for the year, maintaining flat like-for-like sales despite a tough consumer environment.

“Our focus has been on continual improvements to our customer offer, producing better, more innovative ranges of everyday and seasonal cards and maintaining our quality and value positioning, while also being more efficient and driving savings across the business.

“EBITDA for the year however, was impacted by lower footfall and Getting Personal’s disappointing performance.

“We continue to look to leverage our unique, vertically integrated model to improve our competitive advantage and drive margins. We have further initiatives planned for the current year which will bring further production back to the UK, whilst also implementing additional plans that will allow an improved focus on customer service in store.

“New stores remain our biggest growth channel, and we opened a net 51 in the year, with a good pipeline going forward. We are now also exploring other opportunities to extend our reach beyond 1,200 stores in the UK and internationally to drive profitable growth. Encouragingly, some initial trials with Aldi in the UK, in an Australian retailer, and with a franchise partner in Jersey show that the Card Factory brand is a footfall driver that has real resonance; we will pursue these types of opportunities to open new routes to market where we see attractive returns.”