Card Factory share price climbs as profits lifted by online sales though the retailer is warning over living wage costs


Personalised presents have proven to be a money maker for Card Factory

Online shopping sales and personalised presents have pushed retailer Card Factory to a 25 per cent increase in profits for the last year.

The company's share price has jumped on the numbers climbing over three per cent by early afternoon trading. 

Underlying profit before tax hit £82m last year, up 25.2 per cent from £65.5m the year before.

Revenue at the group, which includes online retailer Getting Personal, climbed by eight per cent to £381.6m for the full year. 

Richard Hayes, chief executive, said: 

Our complementary online sales channels are progressing very well. We have maintained our industry-leading margins and believe that we are better placed than most to manage the increased cost pressures that our sector is facing.

Online revenue rose 22.8 per cent, a small dip from the 23.5 per cent growth rate recorded last year.

Hayes announced in January he would be stepping down as chief executive, with chief executive of bargain retail chain B&M, Karen Hubbard, named as his successor

The group has cautioned the so-called national living wage will cost it an extra £2.5m a year, putting pressure on its margins.

In the last year margins held steady at 24.9 per cent as the company targets a higher quality product range.

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

The company announced a total annual dividend of 8.5p per share, up from 6p on the year before. Card Factory also gave back to investors with a special dividend of 15p, which was paid last November. 

AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould said: 

Card Factory has rewarded investors with a 33 per cent rise in dividends following another record year. The company’s momentum is due to a combination of continued strong online revenue growth and the opening of a large number of new stores and believes it is better placed than most to manage the increased cost pressures the sector is facing.

Card Factory opened the doors on 50 new stores over the course of the year, bringing its total to 814.

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