Card Factory swings to a loss after five months of store closures

Listed cards and gifts retailer, Card Factory, saw its pre-tax profits plunge by 125.2% in its its preliminary results for the year ended 31 January 2021.

The Wakefield-headquartered business recorded a £16.4m loss compared to pre-tax profits of £65.2m in 2020.

And over the same period revenues fell 36.9% to £285.1m – down from £451.5m.

Card Factory says COVID-19 lockdowns meant its store estate was closed for an average of five months, causing this significant impact on profitability.

But it also points to a better than expected reopening performances after lockdowns one and two, as well as high growth in Card Factory online (+135.3% to £11.1m) and Getting Personal (+12.2% to £16.5m).

It adds effective and swift action preserved cash, with a £35m reduction in net debt in FY21.

As previously reported, the company has completed a refinancing deal, with new debt facilities of £225m agreed.

Darcy Willson-Rymer

Darcy Willson-Rymer, chief executive officer, who joined Card Factory in March 2021, said: “We have successfully reopened our entire store estate following the third lockdown and delivered a reassuring performance in stores, whilst maintaining online momentum.

“Our powerful brand and unique business model means we are well placed to respond positively to the changing retail environment and to unlock the inherent potential in this business.

“The recent refinancing provides sufficient resources for us to do that by building on our excellent platform to drive future growth. I am excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Chairman Paul Moody added: “2020 was an unprecedented year for all businesses. For Card Factory in particular, key trading periods were significantly disrupted and a loss of over a third of the year’s revenue inevitably had a very material impact on our financial performance.

“There were some challenging times for all, but I’m delighted at how the business and our colleagues navigated the consequences of the pandemic, which reflects on the robustness of the business.”