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Card Factory like-for-likes flat in financial year to date

Greeting cards retailer Card Factory has reported flat like-for-like sales in the nine months to 31 October.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Card Factory like-for-likes flat in financial year to date

Greeting cards retailer Card Factory has reported flat like-for-like sales in the nine months to 31 October.

Meanwhile, group revenue rose by 3.4% in the period.

In the company’s third quarter, Card Factory store like-for-like sales edged up 0.1% following an improvement in the performance of the retailer’s core everyday card product category and an increased average spend. In contrast, online sales surged by 47.3%.

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory’s chief executive, said: “Despite the continuation of challenging high street trading conditions, we delivered positive like-for-like sales in the third quarter, marking a slight improvement on the like-for-like performance seen in the first half. This reflected further growth in average spend and improved performance of our redesigned everyday ranges, in addition to our growing Card Factory online business.”

The third quarter saw Card Factory open 16 net new stores in the UK which brought the year-to-date net new UK store openings to 41 with one new store in Republic of Ireland. The company said it is on track to deliver approximately 50 net new UK stores in the current financial year.

Card Factory also said its underlying EBITDA expectations for the full financial year remain unchanged at £89 million to £91 million.

Hubbard added: “The business faces reduced, but ongoing, external cost pressures such as national living wage and foreign exchange-related input cost increases; the latter is expected to ease in FY20. We remain focused on mitigating these headwinds with our ongoing programme of business efficiencies.

“Given our new ranges and our seasonal performance to date, we approach our Christmas trading period with confidence. We also remain positive about the growth prospects for the business over the medium term.”

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