Card Factory like-for-likes jumped 2.6% in its half year and it has set new store openings and market share growth in its sights.

The value greetings card retailer revealed total sales jumped 8.9% in the six months to July 31.

Card Factory opened 36 net new stores in the period, bringing the total to 749 stores.

Card Factory plans another 50 new stores in the current financial year. The retailer added that the quality of store openings and their performance to date continues to be in line with expectations.

Card Factory chief executive Richard Hayes said: “The group continued to trade well in the first half of the current financial year with good growth coming from the existing store estate and new store roll-out programme, as well as from our smaller but developing online proposition.

“We remain confident of the group’s ability to continue to grow market share for the foreseeable future.”

The retailer added that it is highly cash-generatve and it has reduced net debt to less than £150m, representing less than 1.9x underlying EBITDA for the year to January 31, 2014. It expects to report a further reduction in debt at year-end.