Card Factory will open a “small number” of stores in the Republic of Ireland next year as it continues its rapid store roll out following its IPO.

Card Factory chief executive Richard Hayes told Retail Week the retailer is set to expand into Ireland next year as it aims to bring its store estate up to 1,200 stores.

In the last six months the retailer has opened 36 net new stores, which has brought the total store estate up to 749.

The company is expanding rapidly after floating on the stock market in May and also hopes to grow its bottom line by delivering efficiencies.

Hayes pointed out Card Factory is a Yorkshire company and joked that as a result efficiencies are being driven by the company staying true to stereotypes around the tightness of Yorkshire men.

He added one area where costs are being driven down will be through forcing down property costs.

The store expansion comes as revenue from the company’s website grew 16% to £5.5m for the six months ending July 31.

The Getting Personal website primarily sells gifts rather than cards and Hayes says it is “difficult to estimate how big the website will grow” because only 3% of cards are sold online across the industry.

He added: “We do not see a seismic shift of card sales onto online.”

Hayes was speaking as Card Factory grew its half-year underlying operating profits by 9.3% to £26.1m for the six months ending July 31 on the back of a 2.6% increase in like-for-likes and an 8.9% jump in revenues to £149.4m.

The company’s underlying EBITDA grew 10.1% to £30.2m during the same period.

However, the card specialist made a £7.9m statutory pre-tax loss that it attributes to £22.8m of non-underlying expenses that principally related to costs associated with the IPO and debt refinancing.