Card Factory shares up as sales beat expectations

Shares of Wakefield-based greeting card and gift retailer Card Factory plc rose about 8% on Tuesday after it said sales at its stores since they reopened have exceeded the company’s expectations.

Average spend by customers has increased 24.9%.

Card Factory shares have fallen more than 70% in the past 12 months.

The company announced last month the departure of its CEO Karen Hubbard, with chairman Paul Moody taking on the role of executive chairman until a new CEO is in the job.

In a trading statement, Card Factory said: “Sales realised from our stores have exceeded our initial expectations, with like-for-like sales since reopening down 21.6% (compared to an anticipated 50% reduction in the first month of reopening). 

“Although the number of in-store transactions has fallen, reflecting footfall levels, the average spend has increased by 24.9%.

“Online sales from both and continue to exceed previous year’s sales, realising like-for-like sales up 68.9% for the current financial year to 19 July 2020.

“Online like-for-like sales were up 120.7% during the period of store closures, from 23 March to 14 June 2020. 

“Since stores started to reopen, to 19 July, online like-for-like sales were up 60.5%.

“We successfully launched the new website on 2 July 2020.

“Aggregate revenue for H1 FY21 (i.e. 1 February to 31 July 2020) is expected to be approximately £100m (H1 FY20: £195.6m), with material impact from the 12 week period of store closures. 

“Within this period of closure, important seasons including Father’s Day and Easter were materially affected, and since reopening, there is understandable reduced demand for ‘Thank You Teacher’, Wedding and Children’s Party ranges.”