Card Factory greets good results despite decline in profits

Wakefield retailer Card Factory has seen record revenues this year, but struggled with pre-tax profit decline as it insists the greetings card industry is “resilient”.

For the year to January 2017, Card Factory returned revenues of £398.2m, up 4.3% from  £381.6m the year before.

Pre-tax profits declined slightly to £82.8m, a 1.1% difference on the year before.

It saw a “disappointing” sales from its Getting Personal online brand, which were down 2.6%, but said it was a “relatively small” part of the business.

A £1.1m charge for software upgrades also hit profitability. A special dividend of 15.0p per share, equating to a return of £51.1m, was paid to shareholders in November 2016.

Card Factory is looking to the Republic of Ireland for future growth, with Card Factory saying it was a “very attractive” proposition to potential customers.

In its third anniversary since its IPO, Card Factory has grown to 850 stores, with 9,928 staff.

Karen Hubbard, chief executive officer, commented:

“Having joined the Group just over a year ago, I have undertaken a detailed strategic review of the business and I am confident that our existing, proven four pillar strategy is the right one to ensure future business growth.  However, with the benefit of fresh eyes, I believe that within the four pillars there are additional opportunities to further strengthen the business for the longer term, and these will be prioritised in the year ahead.

“Over the last year, it is that established strategy which has allowed us to deliver a good performance in a challenging retail market.  Our store LFL sales remained positive and our business continued to deliver best-in-class margins whilst remaining highly cash generative, allowing another 15p special dividend to be paid to shareholders in 2016.

“Whilst the new financial year is only two months old and seasonal sales patterns are distorted by Easter and Mother’s Day falling three weeks later than last year, we are pleased with everyday like-for-like sales in the year to date.  I look forward to providing a further trading update at our AGM in May.”

 

Orignal article by Clare Burnett, TheBusinessDesk.com