Card Factory profit falls to €77m but expansion plans set to continue

Company plans to open more new stores in Britain and Ireland, with target of 1,200 shops

Card Factory’s  revenue rose 3.3 per cent to €504 million. Photograph: iStock

Card Factory’s revenue rose 3.3 per cent to €504 million. Photograph: iStock

 

Card Factory’s profits declined last year as its sales were held back by the challenging high street conditions, but the company is pushing ahead with plans to open new stores in Ireland and Britain.

The retailer reported an 8.3 per cent decline in profit before tax to £66.6 million (€77 million) for the year to January 31st.

Like-for-like sales were flat, affected by declining footfall on the high street.

But revenue was up 3.3 per cent to £436 million (€504 million), as the company continued to roll out new stores.

It opened 51 new stores in the period, taking its total estate to 972. It is working towards a target of 1,200 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Profits were also negatively affected by the Getting Personal online business, which saw a decline in sales.

Efficient

In contrast, online sales on the core Card Factory website grew by 56.3 per cent.

Chief executive Karen Hubbard said margins would be improved through initiatives in the current year including more efficient production techniques.

She also reiterated that earnings in the current financial year are expected to be flat on 2018’s performance, due to continuing cost pressures.

Updating on current trading, she said: “Whilst the new financial year is just two months old, we are satisfied with the start we have made and are particularly pleased with record seasonal performances from Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

Earlier this year Mr Hubbard said the Christmas trading period was “challenging due to lower high street footfall. However, Card Factory performed robustly in this competitive trading period.”

Shares in the firm were up 1.7 per cent in early trading on Tuesday before finishing the day up 7.28 per cent at £1.90.

– PA