Clinton Cards has reported like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to November 22 have climbed 3.9%, helped by consistent performance across all product categories and Halloween boosting sales.

In a statement the cards retailer said the newly constituted Birthdays business continues to improve and “is meeting expectations”.

Since the beginning of its financial period in August, it has opened eight stores and closed 10 resulting in 859 currently trading. This comprises 676 Clinton shops and 183 Birthdays stores.

The retailer said Christmas will be a crucial time for the group and it will report further on performance in January.

Numis analyst Nick Coulter said Clintons has picked up from its 10-week like-for-like run rate of up 2.9%, albeit much of the acceleration can be attributed to an exceptionally strong Halloween event. He said: “With the re-bought Birthdays stores trading to plan, we are cautiously optimistic ahead of the pivotal run into Christmas.”