Card Factory returns to profit as store sales recover
// Card Factory made £11.1m in its last financial year, down from a loss of £16.4m the previous year
// Store sales have seen steady improvement since the easing of Covid restrictions earlier this year
Card Factory returned to profit in its most recent financial year as its performance exceeded management’s expectations.
In its full year to 31 January, profits reached £11.1 million compared to a loss of £16.4 million the previous year.
The retailer said it experienced “improving momentum” over the year. Sales were up 28 per cent on a year ago to £364.4 million as the retailer said it had seen a “steady recovery” in store performance since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Store sales were up 33% year-on-year, which she said reflects a 20% increase in trading days as she was hit by store closures during the lockdown of the previous year.
However, comparable data was down 3.1% from pre-pandemic levels during the year.
Card Factory’s online sales fell 1.5% on a like-for-like basis, although it said they were “significantly ahead” of pre-pandemic levels.
On a like-for-like basis, online sales jumped 135%, which the retailer says reflects not only the accelerated shift of online shoppers, but also its expanded product line and improved customer experience in line.
READ MORE: Card Factory launches the first “model store” in the new format
The retailer said trading in its new fiscal year was in line with expectations and contributed to its “continued recovery” in market share. He expects delivery sales to “return to pre-pandemic levels” in the coming year.
By 2026, the retailer is targeting profits in excess of £600m.
Next year, it intends to boost its performance by expanding its complementary ranges, rolling out its new model store format and increasing its “highly targeted” prices.
The cost of living crisis is having some impact on the value card factory, as the retailer has signaled a range shift to everyday ranges over Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Card Factory Managing Director, Darcy Willson-Rymer, said: “We are delighted to report a strong performance for the year, ahead of our initial expectations, as well as good progress in our strategic transition, despite the challenges operational last year.
“We enter the year ahead with confidence in our ability to deliver on our plan for FY23. We remain excited about the growth opportunity ahead and continue to focus on implementing changes to enable us to complete our transition from an in-store card retailer to a market-leading omnichannel card and gift retailer.
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