Card Factory expects annual profits to come in ahead of guidance, helped by a strong Christmas.

Card Factory Exeter

Card Factory’s sales for the 11 months to December have beaten expectations

Card Factory said that sales for the 11 months to December 31 climbed to £432.6m, compared with £337.3m in the same period last year.

Like-for-likes were up 7.1% in stores as shoppers returned to the high street and the Royal Mail strike hit online sales, which were down 27.6% year on year but still up 85.2% on pre-pandemic levels.

Card Factory now expects full-year EBITDA to be “at least” £106m, versus the current consensus of £96.9m.

The retailer reported: “Strong seasonal trading in stores over the Christmas period was supported by our range development and value-for-money offer across both cards and gifts.

Christmas trading also benefited from the agility provided by our vertically integrated model, as well as forward ordering and delivery of Christmas ranges, which underpinned strong availability in stores across the Christmas period.”

Chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “We’re pleased and encouraged by the continued strong performance of the business. With delivery of our growth strategy progressing well, it is great to see some of the benefits from this work starting to come through in our financial performance. 

“There is still more work to be done, but we are very excited by the opportunities ahead and have confidence in our ‘Opening Our New Future’ growth strategy.”