Clinton Cards’ sales were flat in its third quarter and it faces more challenging conditions on the high street.

The group, which includes the Clinton’s and Birthdays brands, reported a 1.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to January 28.

The figure comprised a 0.6 per cent increase for the Clinton’s brand and a 3.5 per cent hike for the Birthdays brand.

Like-for-like group sales for the 39 weeks to April 27 rose 1.8 per cent, consisting of a 1.1 per cent rise at Clinton’s and 4.3 per cent increase at Birthdays.

During the 13-week period, Clinton opened 11 stores and closed 20, leaving it with 1,063 stores as of April 27. This comprised 708 Clinton’s stores and 355 Birthdays stores.

Despite the reduction in stores, Clinton’s total group sales were ahead at£108.5 million during the third quarter, but down for the 39-week period to£365.3 million from£366 million the previous year.

Clinton Cards chairman Don Lewin said: “Sales during the third quarter of this financial year reflect the more challenging conditions being experienced on the high street and, while the board remains comfortable with its performance, we remain cautious over the long-term outlook.”