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Card Factory bemoans reduced high street footfall for softer growth

The greeting cards specialist blames reduced footfall and weaker consumer confidence for its slowed growth at the start of the year

A person picking a greetings card out from the shelf
Card Factory says although people are spending more per visit, fewer customers are coming through the door

Greetings cards retailer Card Factory PLC (LON:CARD) blamed reduced consumer confidence and falling high street footfall for a slower start to 2016.

The company reported “softer” like-for-like sales growth in the first quarter, although it says it continues to target like-for-like sales growth for the year of between 1.4% and 3.2%.

Total sales growth was 6.5% for the quarter ended 30 April, down from 7.5% a year earlier.

“Following our record performance last year, we have had a reasonable start to the year,” said chief executive Karen Hubbard, who took over from Richard Hayes last month.

“[Card Factory is] not ‘completely immune’ to the weaker consumer confidence seen in 2016,” she added.

The company focuses on the value and mid-market segment of the greetings card market

Overall expectations for the year remain unchanged.

Card Factory’s share price fell a little in early trading.

A spokesman for the company said that after a “good run” in recent months, investors might be looking to take some profits from their investments.

Shares were down 19.1p or 5% to 361.9p.

Quick facts: Card Factory

Price: 157.5 GBX

LSE:CARD
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £537.94 m
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