Profits return for retailer as sales approach pre-pandemic levels

Darcy Willson-Rymer

Cards and gifts retailer, Card Factory, says it has delivered a better than expected performance as it publishes its preliminary results for the year-ended 31 January 2022.

Revenue is up 28% to £364.4m (FY 2021: £285.1m) with pre-tax profits of £11.1m (FY 2021: £16.4m loss).

Store sales for the Wakefield-headquartered company were up 33% year on year, reflecting a 20% increase in trading days and a recovery in market share.

Online like for like revenue was down 1.5%, which Card Factory says reflected easing of lockdown restrictions and a return of customers to physical stores.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, chief executive officer, 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 saw a steady recovery in store performance as lockdown restrictions eased, particularly in the run up to Christmas with store sales approaching pre-pandemic levels in this key trading period.

“As we reopened our stores, we saw our online performance decline slightly year on year; however, we remain greatly encouraged that our Card Factory online sales were significantly ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

“Looking forward, we remain confident our revenue levels for next year will continue trending towards pre-pandemic levels.”

The business adds it expects “significant inflationary headwinds” to continue through FY23.

It says pre-emptive action has already mitigated a significant proportion of these headwinds through a combination of efficient management of costs and working capital, as well as targeted price increases.