Thursday 10 January 2019 9:18 am

Card Factory reports flat sales for the full year amid challenging retail conditions

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Card Factory today reported a marginal slip in sales amid a tough consumer environment for high street retailers.

The greeting card specialist said like-for-like sales dipped 0.1 per cent in the 11 months to the end of December, down from a three per cent increase the year before.

The firm saw revenue growth of 3.4 per cent for the same period, compared to 5.9 per cent last year.

Read more: Revealed: The high street retailers that collapsed in 2018

Card Factory blamed a “challenging” consumer environment for the disappointing results, as the crucial festive period failed to prompt a lift in sales.

Chief executive Karen Hubbard said: “The Christmas trading period was challenging due to lower high street footfall. However, Card Factory performed robustly in this competitive trading period.”

“Although the group has faced significant cost pressures in the year, these have reduced and we have been able to take mitigating action to maintain robust gross margins.”

Shares in the FTSE 250 firm fell more than eight per cent this morning.

Read more: Retail sector suffers worst Christmas in a decade as sales stagnate

Card Factory said it opened 52 new stores in the UK and Ireland over the year and said its expectations for full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation remain unchanged at £89m to £91m.

“In light of the current consumer and macro-economic backdrop, we anticipate that FY20 will be another difficult year,” the company added.