// Card Factory group sales up 5% in the year to October 31
// The retailer expects profits to meet expectations
Card Factory has posted a five per cent rise in group sales in the year to October 31 and now expects profits to meet expectations.
Like-for-like sales at the gifts and cards retailer rose 0.9 per cent in the year to October 31 but were down 0.4 per cent in the third quarter thanks to a decline in footfall.
Card Factory has opened 12 new standalone stores during the quarter. The group has also revealed its expansion plans with German discounter Aldi.
Card Factory expects to be in 440 of the grocer’s branches by the end of the month.
It also expects to deliver approximately 50 net new UK and Republic of Ireland store openings in the full year.
Meanwhile, online sales saw a 21.9 per cent increase, which fell below the strong prior year increase of 70.9 per cent.
Card Factory chief executive Karen Hubbard said: “I am pleased with our year-to-date performance. Our ongoing focus on customer experience, and the quality and range of our card and complementary non-card products, has led to an increased average spend both in stores and online. This has helped us to substantially offset the effect of the lower high street footfall experienced in the quarter and the corresponding impact on our like-for-like sales.
“We remain on track with our new store roll out and are focused on pursuing other new growth opportunities and retail partnerships to extend our market penetration in the UK and overseas.
“Our quality/value proposition and new product ranges give us confidence that we are well positioned to deliver a good performance in our key Q4 trading period. The board anticipates profits for the full year to be broadly in line with its previous expectations,” she said.
The group will announce its preliminary results for the year ending January 31 2020 on Tuesday April 21 2020. In addition, a post-Christmas trading update is planned for January 9 2020.
As Card Factory continues to expand its presence, fellow gifts and cards retailer Clintons revealed plans earlier in the week that it will close 66 out of its 332 UK sites.
Clintons is also seeking rent cuts on more than 200 stores as it becomes the latest retailer to seek concessions from high street landlords.