Card Factory faces £10 million pre-tax loss but remains optimistic about the future

Budget greeting card retailer, Card Factory, has felt the effects of Christmas lockdown with a 38.1 per cent year-on-year decline in store sales in the 11 months to December.

The retail chain was forced to close for 37 per cent of the available trading days in a year “the like of which none of us have ever experienced before” according to executive chairman, Paul Moody. The company is now on track for a £10million pre-tax loss for the full financial year.

In a recent trading update the company said overall sales were down to £281.4 million, compared with £424.5 million in sales the previous year. It wasn’t all bad news for the greeting card giant, however, as online sales increased 137 per cent and there was a 17.7 per cent October boost from early Christmas shoppers.
Online shoppers were offered more multi-buy promotions within the Christmas ranges, which helped drive extra sales.

Mr Moody continued saying: “Our short-term cash requirement can be covered within our existing £200m bank facility, we anticipate that current covenants will be breached at the end of January as the significant impact of the November and current national lockdowns are reflected in our trading performance. We continue to have constructive discussions with our banking syndicate.”

“Despite the obvious uncertainties in the first half of 2021, I am confident that we have the opportunity to return the business to sustainable profitable growth and will do all that is necessary in the near term to ensure that we can maximise that opportunity”.

Card Factory recently announced that Darcy Willson-Rymer had been appointed Chief Executive of the UK’s largest greeting card chain, after previously heading up Costcutter Supermarkets.

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