‘Positive start’ for Card Factory

THE Card Factory today reported that it has a “strong pipeline” of new store opportunities.

In its interim management statement, the Wakefield-based company said it had achieved

positive growth in like-for-like sales from its existing store estate.

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The company, which was recently admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange, said that it continues to trade in line with the board’s expectations.

In the period under review, the group has continued to grow like-for-like sales and expanded its retail estate from its established new store roll out programme.

The statement said: “In the first four months of the current financial year, 29 net new stores have been opened, bringing the total estate to 742 stores as at May 31 2014. The group has a strong pipeline of additional new store opportunities and remains confident of opening a total of approximately 50 net new stores in the current financial year in line with historic opening rates.”

As described in its IPO prospectus, which was released last month, the group has opened an average of more than 50 new stores per year over the past 10 years. It intends to continue to expand its store portfolio organically to up to 1,200 stores in total over the next 10 years, including up to 100 potential new stores in the Republic of Ireland.

As announced on June 2, the company also completed the refinancing of its existing senior bank facilities. The group will announce its interim results for the six months ended July 31 2014 in September.

Richard Hayes, the Card Factory’s chief executive, said: “We have had a positive start to our current financial year, further developing our distinctive value proposition and continuing to deliver on our clear growth strategy. The board remains confident of the group’s ability to further grow market share for the foreseeable future.”