Retailer Card Factory has reported an major rise in revenue but has warned of a tough economic climate in the run-up to the key Christmas period.
The Wakeford-based firm said revenue rose by 11.5% to hit £220.8m in the six months to the end of July, with pre-tax profit rising almost 73% to £24.7m. It said that its growth was driven in large part by a significant increase in sales of gifts and celebration essentials, though online sales fell.
Card Factory said that its Valentine’s, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day ranges outperformed the previous year. It is now recruiting for the Christmas period and says it won’t suffer any supply problems for that period.
It added that its partnership revenues had increased 23.5% to £6.4m and it had signed new agreements with Malatan in the UK and with a company in the Middle East. The positive performance had seen the company’s net debt reduce by nearly £24m to £71.9m.
Chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “We are delighted to announce a strong performance in the first six months of this year. We continue to build the key foundations for growth through the delivery of our ‘Opening Our New Future’ strategy.
“Our value and quality proposition and the strength of our store estate resonates with customers and positions us well to navigate the challenging economic backdrop in the run up to the Christmas trading season. Continued leveraging of the insights gathered from our investment in customer data is enabling us to evolve and optimise our store formats and ranges across cards, gifts and celebration essentials, all underpinned by our discipline in maintaining a resilient financial position.
“I would like to thank colleagues across the Card Factory business for their ongoing dedication in delivering on our strategic building blocks of growth. We continue to focus on the delivery of our long-term targets and in achieving our ambition of becoming a market leading omnichannel retailer of cards and gifts.”
Over the half-year period, Card Factory said it had completed the rollout of its click and collect programme, with early indications that it was adding to in-store revenues. It had also opened 11 net new stores in the UK and Ireland.
The company also opened its first four stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and completed the acquisition of South African-based SA Greetings.
Card Factory said it was “confident in the long-term financial and operational targets set out at our Capital Markets Strategy Update in May 2023”.
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