Card Factory set to return cash to investors as new stores boost sales

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Card Factory opened its 800th store in the first half as it targets 50 new openings a year
Budget greetings card chain Card Factory announced yesterday that it plans to return cash to shareholders after the opening of new stores and a relaunch of its website helped boost sales in the first half.

The Wakefield-based retailer said total sales grew by eight per cent in the six months to 31 July thanks to the launch of 36 new stores and a 2.7 per cent rise in sales across its existing estate.

It also achieved strong sales growth from its website Getting Personal, which sells personalised gifts and card, and relaunched the Card Factory transactional website during the period.

The company made its market debut in May last year, as a flurry of flotations led to the market cooling slightly. It set out plans at the time of the float to open 50 shops a year over the next 10 years, growing to around 1,200 shops.

It currently has 800 stores across the UK and Ireland and said it is still on track to open 50 stores this year. Card Factory said it expects to announce plans to return capital to shareholders at the interim results. However, this failed to boost shares, which fell 2.4 per cent to 358p.

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