card factory has posted strong results following its May listing, with continued store openings and strong online growth.
Revenues at the specialist retailer rose 8.9 per cent to £149.4m in the six months to end of July.
Underlying profit climbed 9.3 per cent to £26.1m for the period, while like-for-like sales rose 2.6 per cent.
The Wakefield-based company remains on target to add 50 net stores to its estate in the current financial year. Its online personalised card and gift business also experienced strong growth, with revenue up 16.4 per cent to £5.5m.
Card Factory returned a £7.9m bottom-line loss despite its strong performance, due to the costs of its initial public offering (IPO) and a subsequent debt refinancing deal.
Richard Hayes, chief executive officer of Card Factory, told The Yorkshire Post the company’s maiden listed results were ‘encouraging’.
He said: ‘We’ve done what we said we would do at IPO.
‘Group revenue is up, like-for-like sales are up, underlying group profit is up and we continue to see strong cash flow generation.’
The company’s development strategy focuses on four pillars of growth: like-for-like sales, new stores, business efficiency and developing its online business.
Improving quality, both in existing ranges and added lines, is central to its sales growth plan, but Mr Hayes denied this will drive up costs for customers.
He said: ‘If you were to visit a Card Factory store, you can see retail selling prices remain very competitive.
‘We’re focused on value for customers; we’ve done very well for the last 17 years with a value-focused proposition, that isn’t something we’re looking to change.’
In addition to boosting like-for-like sales, the first half of the year saw 37 store openings, compared with one store closure, bringing the total estate to 749.
‘We believe we have the potential to reach 1,200 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland,’ Mr Hayes said.
The company will continue its strategy going forward, as it enters the lucrative Christmas run-up.