Card Factory has bounced back into the black after mounting a “steady recovery” in sales following the coronavirus pandemic.

The greetings card and gifting specialist said pre-tax profit hit £11.1 in the year to January 31, compared to a £16.4m loss the previous year.

Total revenue jumped 28% to £364.4m, though like for likes remained 3.9% down on pre-pandemic levels.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO of Card Factory

Darcy Willson-Rymer said Card Factory has taken pre-emptive action to help mitigate inflationary pressures

Sales made through Card Factory’s stores rose 33% year on year as the chain hailed a recovery in market share.

Online sales, by contrast, slipped 1.5% as shoppers returned to physical stores. Despite that slowdown, ecommerce revenues remained more than double pre-pandemic levels.

Card Factory said trading in its current financial year to date has been in line with expectations, driving “a continued recovery of market share position”. 

It insisted that total revenue would recover towards pre-pandemic levels in 2022/23 and said its profit expectations are unchanged despite “significant inflationary headwinds”.

Card Factory admitted it had implemented “targeted price increases” across some of its ranges to help manage rising costs. 

Chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “We are pleased to report a robust performance for the year, ahead of our original expectations, alongside good progress on our strategic transition, despite the operational challenges the last year brought.

“Looking forward, we remain confident our revenue levels for next year will continue trending towards pre-pandemic levels. We have taken pre-emptive action to help mitigate the inflationary pressures we are seeing across the business and we will continue to monitor and respond to developing macro-environmental pressures. 

“Our focus is on creating opportunities across our store estate while building out our wider capability which will allow us to deliver our strategic initiatives and drive growth at pace.”

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