// Card Factory reported that trading had recovered to pre-Covid levels during December
// Sales for 11 months to 31 December hit £337.3m, ahead of board expectations
Card Factory has revealed it is trading ahead of board expectations for its 2021/22 financial year as it celebrated a strong Christmas performance.
The cards retailer said trading recovered “particularly strongly” through December, with like-for-like store sales returning to a similar level to pre-Covid Christmas 2019.
Card Factory said the Christmas period “reflected the more stable customer and market conditions compared to last year”.
The retailer now expects its full year results to be ahead of previous expectations with sales in excess of £360m and pre-tax profit expected to be in the range of £7m to £10m.
For the 11 months to 31 December, Card Factory’s total sales hit £337.3m. This was significantly below the £424.5m for the pre-Covid eleven months to 31 December 2019, however, the retailer was hit with trading restrictions due to the pandemic.
Over the period, stores were closed for 20% of the available trading days.
The cards retailer said performance had recovered from April when restrictions started to ease and like-for-like sales have shown “an overall upward trend” towards pre-Covid 2019 levels since then.
Store like-for-likes were down 0.8% year on year to £310m but declined 5.4% on a two-year basis. Online sales increased 23.3% on a two-year basis to £22.2m, with cardfactory.co.uk sales up 130.3% and gettingpersonal.co.uk revenue down 11.4% as the retailer focused on higher margin sales.
Card Factory chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer, who joined the business just over a year ago, said: “We continue to see improved trading performance across all channels, with transaction volumes in our stores outperforming high street footfall recovery, demonstrating the loyalty of our customers and strength of the brand.
“The customer response to our Christmas ranges was particularly strong, across both card and complementary product ranges.”
“I remain hugely excited by the opportunities available to Card Factory as we focus on the implementation of our strategy and the transformation of the business to a full omnchannel retailer”.