Card Factory sends out cheerful greetings with increase in sales

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Card Factory was started from the back of a van and plans to have 820 stores by 2016
DISCOUNT greetings chain Card Factory reported a 7.5 per cent rise in first quarter sales thanks to new store openings and strong growth from its Getting Personal gift website.

The Wakefield-based company, started by a husband and wife team from the back of a van, made its market debut in May last year amid a flurry of flotations that led to the market cooling somewhat.

It shares were priced at the beginning of its set price range at 224p and valuing the group at £766m. However shares have since jumped by 51 per cent to 338.5p, despite being edging down slightly yesterday. It is now worth more than £1bn.

Chief executive Richard Hayes said: “Following on from our record performance last year, we have had a positive start to our new financial year, with consistently strong revenue growth and cash generation and I remain confident that the group will achieve the board’s expectations for the full financial year.”

Card Factory said like-for-like store sales growth in the three months to 30 April was “within management target range” while its expansion was on track. It opened 19 stores in its first quarter and expects to add 50 more in the year to January 2016, bringing the total to about 820.

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