June 5, 2019 / 7:10 AM / 20 days ago

Card Factory sales grow in first quarter, shares rise

(Reuters) - Card Factory Plc said on Wednesday that sales in the first quarter rose 6.4% as customers reacted well to the British greeting card retailer’s seasonal ranges, driving record card sales growth for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Like-for-like sales for the quarter ended April rose 2.3% and the company said revenue from its online store also grew because of new ranges and designs.

Card Factory shares rose as much as 6.2% in early trading and were last up 2.6% at 198 pence.

Analysts at Liberum said like-for-like sales were better than expected, giving credit to Card Factory management’s self-help measures around range and quality.

However, the company once again struck a cautious note and said it expected like-for-like sale for the full year to be marginally positive. It also said it still expected full-year profit to be flat year-over-year.

“Considering the uncertain macro outlook and the continuation of challenging consumer conditions, and with the key trading periods still to come, the board expects LFL sales for the year to be marginally positive,” the company said.

Like-for-like sales were flat for the company’s fiscal 2019.

Britain’s high-street stores have struggled with lower footfall as Britons cut back on spending due to Brexit-related uncertainty, hurting retailers like Card Factory.

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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