A slight improvement in trading during the last ten weeks of its financial year could not prevent high street greetings card and gift specialist Clinton Cards posting double-digit losses for its full year.
In results released today, the retailer posted a £10.66 million loss for the 52-week period ending July 31st 2011, whilst sales like-for-like sales fell by 2.9 per cent over the period.
Trading declined 3.4 per cent in the first 40 weeks of the year, meaning business picked up somewhat during the summer after the company began a turnaround strategy which has involved driving down costs.
Debt facilities with joint lenders Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland of £55 million have now been extended to July 2013, and the retailer has reduced its debt to £34.3 million during the year.
Don Lewin, Chairman of Clinton Cards, commented: “Our business is continuing to evolve and, benefiting from a strengthened management team, we are embarking on a series of initiatives to improve the group’s performance.
“Together these represent important steps both in our ability to continue to meet the changing needs of our customers and to ensure that we establish a solid platform for driving investor returns.”
Changes to the group’s management structure have included the recent addition of Tim Fairs as Marketing Director, and former Managing Director of Starbucks UK Darcy Wilson-Rymer as its new CEO.
The struggling Birthday’s business in Ireland was disposed of during the year cutting 14 stores from the retailer’s portfolio, and a further 14 Clintons stores were disposed of in the year.
Sales for the beginning of this financial year are reported to be down 1.5 per cent year-on-year in the first 13 weeks and a company review is currently being undertaken by Wilson-Rymer to aid a turnaround in trading.