// Card Factory made a £11.1 million in its latest financial year, up from a £16.4 million loss the prior year
// Store sales have seen steady improvement since Covid restrictions eased earlier this year
Card Factory has returned to profit in its latest financial year as it performed ahead of management expectations.
In its full year to 31 January, profits hit £11.1 million against a £16.4 million loss the year before.
The retailer said it had experienced “improving momentum” during the year. Sales grew 28% on last year to £364.4 million as the retailer said it had experienced a “steady recovery” in store performance since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Stores sales grew 33% year on year, which it said reflected a 20% increase in the number of trading days as it was hit with shop closures during lockdown the prior year.
However, like-for-likes were 3.1% down on pre-pandemic levels over the year.
Card Factory’s online sales dipped 1.5% on a like-for-like basis, although it said they were “significantly ahead” of pre-pandemic levels.
On a like-for-like basis, online sales surged 135%, which the retailer said reflected not only the accelerated shift in shoppers going online but its expanded product range and improved customer experience online.
The retailer said trading in its new financial year was in line with expectations and has helped with the “continued recovery” of its market share. It expects to delivery sales “recovering towards pre-pandemic levels” in the year ahead.
By 2026, the retailer is targeting profits in excess of £600 million.
It plans to drive performance in the year ahead by expanding into complementary ranges, rolling out its new model store format and through “highly targeted” price increases.
The cost-of-living crisis is having some impact on the value card factory as the retailer flagged a mix shift towards everyday ranges during Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Card Factory chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said: “We are pleased to report a robust performance for the year, ahead of our original expectations, alongside good progress on our strategic transition, despite the operational challenges the last year brought.
“We enter the year ahead with confidence in our ability to deliver our plan for FY23. We remain excited by the growth opportunity ahead and continue to focus on implementing changes to enable us to deliver on our transition from a store-led card retailer into a market leading, omnichannel retailer of cards and gifts.”