Card Factory said sales grew 6.7% in the nine months to October 31, but warned that it still faces pressure from slumped Sterling and rising wages.
The value card specialist said its “strong first-half sales performance” continued into its third quarter – driven principally by growth in its lower-margin non-card categories.
However, chief executive Karen Hubbard pointed out that “external pressures” – such as the fallen value of the pound and the hike in wages caused by the national living wage – would continue to impact the retailer’s margin into its next financial year.
Hubbard said: “We have had good third-quarter sales, continuing the momentum seen over the first half of the year, with strong growth in revenue from lower-margin non-card categories, such as gifts and dressings.
“As previously stated, the business faces ongoing external pressures such as foreign exchange and national living wage, which will continue to impact our margin for the remainder of the year and into FY19, despite the mitigation initiatives we have put in place.”
Looking ahead, Hubbard said: “We go into the important final quarter with an exciting and extended Christmas offer and remain confident that our quality and value credentials will continue to resonate well with our customers, with the added benefit of EPOS and contactless in every store.”
During the period Card Factory opened 38 new UK stores, bringing its total to 903. It is confident that it can continue to open around 50 stores a year until it reaches its target of 1,200 shops.
It added that its online operations – Gettingpersonal.co.uk and cardfactory.co.uk – continue to grow and attract growing visitor numbers, with its new management teams “performing well”.