Card Factory has reported a surge in full-year profits as customers returned to stores and it had a strong Christmas.
Card Factory was bullish about its prospects after trading in the new year so far came in “slightly ahead of the board’s expectations”.
It achieved pre-tax profits of £52.4m in the year to January 31, up from £11.1m the previous year, including £3.5m of one-off benefits. Sales rose 27.1% to £463.4m.
Store like-for-likes advanced 7.6%, “reflecting a return of customers to the high street, the success of our new ranges and our strong value for money proposition, alongside the successful implementation of targeted price increases”, the retailer said.
Online sales sank 18.8% “due to a combination of customers returning to the high street and the impact of Royal Mail strikes during the Christmas trading period”. However, they were still 86.4% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Group like-for-likes rose 6.7%, “underpinned by a strong performance in the core business activity of store-based sales and Everyday card ranges, accompanied by strong trading through the Christmas season”. The retailer said “targeted price increases ”delivered about two-thirds of that as transactions and average basket values rose.
Chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “These strong results reflect positive momentum across the business, including notable progress on our strategic growth initiatives, buoyed by the marked shift of customer spend back towards the high street. with our strengthening financial position, have underpinned positive progress on our strategic priorities.
“Proactive measures that we put in place to manage the inflationary pressures faced in the year, coupled with our strengthening financial position, have underpinned positive progress on our strategic priorities.
“Whilst remaining mindful of the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis on our customers, we are confident that we are well positioned to make good progress in our transition to becoming the market leading omnichannel retailer of cards and gifts.”
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