Card Factory chief executive claimed to have no regrets as he prepares to retire from a business in a “great state of health”.

Richard Hayes told Retail Week that he was “emotionally attached” to Card Factory and that retiring from the business after 13 years was “a big thing” for him.

“It’s nice to go out on a high”, he added. 

The specialist retailer has appointed former B&M and Asda executive Karen Hubbard to succeed Hayes.

Hubbard started as chief executive designate six weeks ago. She will formally take over as chief executive in mid-April.

“Karen will have her own views on things and will make her mark but she’s inheriting a business that’s in a great state of health,” Hayes said, insisting that for now its “business as usual”.

Hayes’ comments came after the retailer reported a 25% increase in full-year underlying pretax profits as well as an 8% sales increase.

“How could I have regrets about a business that’s gone from 40 stores 13-years ago, to a business that now has over 800 locations across the county that, in my opinion, has turned the sector upside-down?” said Hayes.

Hayes will remain at Card Factory until late June to support Hubbard’s induction.