02 June 2020

Turnover has grown in the latest accounts for Card Factory despite a "challenging year for the high street" but pre-tax profits have dipped. The listed gift card retailer has also revealed plans to reopen 10 per cent of its stores later this month (June 2020).

The Wakefield-headquartered company has reported a turnover of £451.5m for the year ended 31 January 2020, up 3.6 per cent from £436m in 2018/19.

However, pre-tax profits reduced to £65.2m from £68.2m the year before.

Like-for-like sales were down 0.5 per cent over the year, reflecting weak consumer confidence and high street footfall decline in the second half.

The company reported record Valentine's and Mother's Days' sales for the third consecutive year, but its Christmas performance was weaker. During the period, 50 net new stores were opened.

Card Factory has also announced plans to reopen 10 per cent of its stores from 15 June 2020. It said it had worked through the detail of social distancing in stores, and received appropriate PPE and other equipment.

Chief executive Karen Hubbard said: "We delivered a reasonable sales performance in a challenging year for the high street, growing both our volume and value card market share in the mature and stable UK greeting card market.

"Our profitability was, however, impacted by a number of recurring cost pressures and other one off operational costs which we were not able to fully mitigate.

"Since the year end, whilst we have continued to evolve our medium and longer term plans, a key focus has been on appropriately managing our business and protecting our staff through the Covid-19 crisis.

"We have developed flexible plans which will ensure the safety of our colleagues and customers whilst allowing a phased re-opening of our stores from the 15th June in line with government guidelines."