High Street

Card Factory sales down 38% in 2020

The company has warned that it will operate a loss before tax of roughly £10m, should its stores remain closed until the end of January 2021

Card Factory, the greetings cards, dressings, and gifts provider, has announced its sales for the eleven months ended 31 December 2020 were down by 38.1% year-on-year.

With Covid-19 leading to mandatory store closures that resulted in prohibited openings for 37% of available trading days, the firm saw its revenue fall to £281.4m from £424.5m the previous year.

As a result of the drastically reduced footfall across all of its store locations, the company has warned that it will see a loss before tax of roughly £10m in its full-year results, should its stores remain closed until the end of January 2021.

However, the firm has managed to achieve a reduction to its net debt, from £119m to £90m, and has revealed that unless the current lockdown goes beyond 30 April 2021, any cash requirements can be covered by an existing £200m bank facility.

Paul Moody, executive chairman at Card Factory, acknowledged that the firm “successfully pursued key strategic aims” throughout the year, despite deep investment being needed to become “Covid-secure”.

He said: “Throughout 2020 we unwaveringly did all that was necessary to protect our colleagues and customers, making our stores one of the most Covid-secure shopping experiences available.  

“The financial investment has been significant, but critical to enabling us to meet our social responsibility.”

Moody added: “Despite the obvious uncertainties in the first half of 2021, I am confident that we have the opportunity to return the business to sustainable profitable growth and will do all that is necessary in the near term to ensure that we can maximise that opportunity.”

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