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Card Factory strikes £225m refinancing deal as sales beat expectations

·1-min read

Card Factory has said initial sales have “exceeded expectations” since reopening stores as it completed a £225 million refinancing deal.

However, shares in the company plunged on Friday morning as investors digested the new funding move, which includes a £100 million credit facility, £75 million loan and £50 million Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan.

The embattled high street firm said it will use the cash to strengthen its online proposition for customers and improve its capacity to deal with sales demand.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, chief executive of the business, said the new funds will afford the group “the headroom required to focus on realising the growth strategy”.

In the stock market update, the group said its initial store trading “exceeded both our expectations and the sales performance realised after reopening following the first and second lockdowns”.

It said that sales for the five weeks from April 12 were “marginally” down against the same period in 2019, before the pandemic struck.

Lower retail footfall has been largely offset by increased spending per customer, Card Factory said.

Mr Willson-Rymer said: “We welcome our colleagues and customers back into our stores, providing the quality ranges at competitive prices which our customers have missed whilst stores were closed.

“As national restrictions are eased, we continue to prioritise providing a safe working and shopping environment in all our stores.

“The strong trading performance in our stores over the last few weeks reflects the extensive preparations to maximise meeting our customers’ needs completed by the wider Card Factory team.”

Card Factory shares fell by 14% to 73.87p in early trading.

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