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Card Factory's sales on the up as company overcomes difficult trading conditions


Confident: Karen Hubbard

Confident: Karen Hubbard

Confident: Karen Hubbard

Retailer Card Factory, which has around 15 stores in Northern Ireland, has returned to sales growth ahead of the peak festive season after overcoming "challenging" high street trading.

The greetings card and gifts chain, which has 963 stores across the UK, said like-for-like store sales climbed 0.1% in the third quarter to October 31, while it saw a 47.3% surge in website sales.

The impressive online performance helped overall like-for-like sales rise 0.4% during the period, with trading now flat in the year to date.

Chief executive Karen Hubbard said the group was entering the key Christmas period with "confidence".

"Despite the continuation of challenging high street trading conditions, we delivered positive like-for-like sales in the third quarter, marking a slight improvement on the like-for-like performance seen in the first half," she added.

"This reflected further growth in average spend and improved performance of our redesigned Everyday ranges, in addition to our growing Card Factory online business."

But she said cost savings remained a top priority as the group looks to offset rising wage bills from the national living wage, as well as rising buying costs from the weak pound.

Card Factory warned over profits in August off the back of extreme weather and weak consumer demand. It expects full-year underlying earnings to be between £89m and £91m.