“Robust” results for Card Factory

“Robust” results for Card Factory

High street gift card retailer Card Factory has reported a "robust performance" in its full-year results, in spite of a "tough consumer environment".

The listed company reported revenue of £436m in its results for the year ended 31 January 2019, up from £422.1m in 2017/18. Like-for-like sales remained flat despite widespread high street footfall decline.

However, pre-tax profit reduced to £66.6m from £72.6m the year before, with EBITDA down to £93.6m from £86.1m.

A net 51 new stores were opened in the period, bringing its total store estate to 972 (including seven in the Republic of Ireland).

In its online businesses, cardfactory.co.uk achieved a 56.3 per cent increase in sales and was a "profitable contributor" to the group, but gettingpersonal.co.uk reported a "disappointing" sales decline.

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory chief executive, 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.

"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."

Hubbard added that the retailer had reported a strong start to the new financial year, with record Valentine's Day and Mother's Day performances.