Clinton Cards Chairman Don Lewin has indicated that the company is cautious about the economic environment as it approaches the critical Christmas period.
Like-for-like sales during the year to August 1st were up 0.7 per cent, but the forthcoming government spending cuts are causing the company some concern as its busiest period draws nearer.
Lewin commented: “We believe the initiatives we have undertaken will leverage the Clinton brand and provide a solid foundation for the long term.
“However, in the near term, whilst we are confident with our product proposition, we remain cautious about the economic climate and its effect on consumer spending ahead of the important Christmas trading period.”
The initiatives the Chairman referred to include a restructuring of the business’s Birthdays department, which has resulted in a 5.4 per cent increase in sales during the ten weeks to October 10th.
However, the restructuring contributed to an operating loss for the department of more than £2 million over the course of the 2009-10 financial year.
Group operating profit for the year was £14.77 million - down by £12.5 million on the previous year - but sales for the 12-month period were up by nearly £55 million year-on-year to reach £400.04 million.