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Card Factory posts sales gain as new shops pay off

Higher sales, new shops and online expansion boost retailer

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Card Factory's shares have risen since May flotation

Higher sales, new shops and online expansion boosted gift and stationery retailer Card Factory (LON:CARD).

The group, which floated in May at 225p, said sales rose by 8% and like-for-like sales lifted 8.9% in the six months to July 31.

It opened 36 stores in the half, similar to the same time last year, including the launch of its 800th outlet.

Card Factory reported a further strong increase in revenue from its Getting Personal website and relaunched its Card Factory interactive site.

The company said it was on track to return cash to shareholders as planned towards the end of the financial  year and was targeting results in line with hopes.

Shares fell 6.8p to 360.1p after the trading update, although that was comfortably higher than the 225p it floated at in May.

Card Factory was among a string of newly-listed retailers whose shares struggled to top their flotation prices after entering the market.

Chief executive Richard Hayes said: "It is pleasing to report that the group traded well in the first half of the current financial year with good growth continuing from the existing store estate and new store roll-out programme.

""We remain confident of our ability to continue to increase market share."

Quick facts: Card Factory

Price: 91.7 GBX

LSE:CARD
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £313.2 m
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