Card Factory meets board’s expectations as it prepares to welcome new CEO

Karen Hubbard
Karen Hubbard
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Card Factory, the specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts, today revealed that it had continued to trade in line with the board’s expectations.

The company has announced a trading update for the 11 months ended December 31 2015.

During this period, it achieved like-for-like store sales growth of +2.8 per cent, compared with +1.8 per cent in the same period the previous year.

The company achieved total sales growth of +8.1 per cent, which was the same figure recorded in the comparable period in 2014.

Altogether, 50 net new stores opened in the period in line with historic and projected roll-out rate. There has been further development of both the Getting Personal and Card Factory transactional websites and the board’s expectations for the full financial year are unchanged.

In a statement, the company said: “Card Factory has continued to trade in line with the board’s expectations.

“The group delivered a good level of growth in the period driven by a combination of like-for-like sales growth, new store roll out and further growth in our complementary online activities. Like-for-like sales growth benefited from particularly strong growth in non-card products, which continued through the Christmas trading period.

50 net new stores were opened in the period, bringing the total estate to 814 stores as at 31 December 2015. Looking ahead to our next financial year ending 31 January 2017, the group has a strong pipeline of additional new store opportunities and we remain confident of continuing our historic opening rate of approximately 50 net new stores per annum.

Richard Hayes, Card Factory’s chief executive, said: “As we approach the end of our financial year, it is pleasing to report that the group has continued to perform well through the important and competitive Christmas trading period.

“We remain on course to deliver sales growth at a similar level to last year, highlighting once again the strength and consistency of our retail proposition and performance, underpinned as ever by our unique vertically integrated model.”

The statement added: “As announced on January 6 2016, Karen Hubbard will join the board as CEO designate on February 22, and will succeed Richard Hayes as CEO in mid-April. Richard will retire from the board and leave the group at the end of June 2016, following a four-month handover period.”