// Card Factory full-year profits drop 11.8% to £67.2m, like-for-likes dip 0.5%, but revenues increase 3.6% to £451.5m
// In the financial year so far, online sales have skyrocketed 302%
// Card Factory will not pay a dividend to preserve liquidity amidst the impact of Covid-19
Card Factory said online sales at its main website have more than tripled since the coronavirus lockdown forced the closure of all its stores, as it confirmed plans to reopen 10 per cent of its shops from around June 15.
The greetings card chain said like-for-like sales on its ecommerce site surged 302 per cent since lockdown came into effect in late March, and are 153 per cent higher in its financial year so far.
However, the retailer – which has furloughed more than 90 per cent of its staff – cancelled its 2019-20 final shareholder dividend payout in an effort to preserve liquidity due to the impact of Covid-19.
It also said it did not expect to pay one for the current year and added that 2019-20 results were “significantly impacted by a very challenging market”.
In its financial year ending January 31, Card Factory recorded an 11.8 per cent drop in underlying pre-tax profits to £67.2 million, dragged by nonrecurring operational costs and the cost of the increase in the British national living wage.
Full-year sales rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year to £451.5 million, while like-for-like sales dipped 0.5 per cent on the year, reflecting weak consumer confidence and footfall decline in the second half.
“Before the impact of Covid-19, we had made a satisfactory start to the year,” Card Factory chief executive Karen Hubbard said.
“In the first major season of the year, Valentine’s Day, we achieved our fourth consecutive year of record sales growth in both volume and value.
“However, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted trading and, given the uncertain economic backdrop, we are unable to provide financial guidance for 2020-21.”