Card Factory opens 34 new stores as revenue and profits continue to grow

Card Factory, the Wakefield-headquartered specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts, has reported “further growth in both revenue and profit” for the six months ending 31 July 2016.

During this period, Card Factory saw a 4.8% increase in revenues to £169.2m, compared to £161.4m at the same period last year.

Operating profit also rose by 4.1% to £29m, along with a 7.3% increase in pre-tax profit to £27.6m.

As a result of this growth, the retailer opened 34 new stores in the period, bringing total estate to 848. An additional six new stores have opened since period ended, including at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Card Factory intends to expand its footprint by delivering 50 new stores openings by the end of the year.

Karen Hubbard, chief executive officer, commented:

"We have delivered a solid set of interim results with further growth in both revenue and profit, albeit with softer footfall resulting in slightly lower than normal sales growth from our stores.    

"We remain highly cash generative and are pleased to be announcing another special dividend of 15% share. Together with the interim dividend, this means we will have returned over £160m to shareholders since IPO just over two years ago.

"We remain the clear leaders in our market, with a strong value proposition, a unique vertically integrated operating model, significant scale advantages, and industry-leading margins.

“The potential for further growth - through like-for-like sales growth, further store roll-out and the full exploitation of our online channels - is exciting.

"Trading in recent weeks has been similar to the trends seen in the first half, with encouraging continued growth in average spend.  We approach the important final quarter with confidence in the quality and value of our offer, including our new Christmas ranges, and remain confident of delivering full year underlying profit before tax within the range of expectations.

"We remain as convinced as ever of the strong growth prospects for the business, and of our ability to deliver further returns of surplus cash to shareholders over the medium term."