The poor weather in the build-up to Christmas has been cited as a reason for a slowdown in sales at cards and gift retailer Clinton Cards.
A trading statement issued today, detailing sales figures for the five weeks to January 2nd 2011, indicates that the company’s board expects pre-tax profits for the year to July 31st to be significantly lower than current market expectations.
Clintons’ like-for-like (LFL) sales during the period were down two per cent year-on-year, while the firm’s Birthdays UK arm experienced a 1.5 per cent decline in trading.
In Ireland, where economic problems have been widely documented, the group’s Birthdays Eire business saw a 12.2 per cent drop in sales, meaning trading across the entire group was down 2.1 per cent in total for the five weeks.
Total group sales for the 22-week period to January 2nd were down by 2.8 per cent year-on-year.
Don Lewin, Chairman of Clinton Cards, remains confident that the business is moving in the right direction, despite the readjusted profits outlook.
He said: “Whilst the impact of such adverse weather conditions in the weeks building up to Christmas is very disappointing, the board remains confident in the strategic initiatives it is taking in the rebranding and redesign of its store portfolio and the imminent launch of the new website.”