Specialist retailer Card Factory has reported a strong performance in the run-up to Christmas as it expects to deliver adjusted profit before tax at the top of the range of market expectations.

The company said like-for-like store sales during November and December were up 7.8%, driven by an increased number of transactions and increased average basket value.

Sales in the 11 months to December 2023 were up 10.2% on a year-on-year basis to £476.9m. Store sales grew 8.2% on a like-for-like basis, while online sales declined 12.8%, “reflecting the ongoing investment in online capability, platform performance and customer experience”.

The retailer said it received a profitable contribution from new partnerships with Matalan and Liwa Trading Enterprises while its recently acquired South African cards retailer SA Greetings ”continues to perform in line with expectations, contributing £9.1 million of revenue in the period.”

The retailer said ”given the strength of performance in the year to date, it expects to deliver full-year adjusted profit before tax (excluding one-off items) at the top of the range of market expectations and remains confident in the achievement of the long-term financial and operational targets set out at our Capital Markets Strategy Update in May 2023.”

Chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “We are pleased to have delivered a strong performance over the Christmas period, further demonstrating the progress we are making on our strategic growth initiatives. Our value and quality proposition continues to resonate with customers at a time when value for money is as important as ever. Even during challenging times, consumers want to celebrate key life moments and this was reflected in the positive performance that we saw in the Christmas trading period and throughout the year to date.

“Colleagues across all areas of our business have worked incredibly hard to deliver an improved experience for our customers this year. As we look ahead, we remain focused on delivering against our growth strategy by helping our customers to affordably celebrate all life’s moments.”