Card Factory predicts difficult year; shares fall

Shares of Wakefield-based greeting cards retailer Card Factory fell about 10% on Thursday after it said in a trading statement it expects “another difficult year” despite year-to-date revenue growth of 3.4%.

In a trading update for the 11 months to December 31, 2018, Card Factory said its expectations for underlying EBITDA for the full year remain unchanged at £89 million to £91 million.

Card Factory CEO Karen Hubbard said: “The Christmas trading period was challenging due to lower high street footfall.

“However, Card Factory performed robustly in this competitive trading period.

“As a result, like-for-like store sales have remained consistent and in line with our quarter three update in November. 

“Although the group has faced significant cost pressures in the year, these have reduced and we have been able to take mitigating action to maintain robust gross margins.

“Whilst we expect ongoing challenges from the consumer and macro backdrop, we continue to lead the market with our proposition, underpinned by our ongoing investment in our unique vertically integrated model which provides our business with significant competitive advantages.”