Clinton Cards, the UK's largest specialist retailer of cards, has posted a loss after a challenging half year, blaming weak consumer confidence for its decline in life-for-like (LFL) sales.
The firm fell into the red, plunging to a pre-tax loss of £3.7m in the six months to January 29th compared to a profit of £11.7m in the same period a year earlier.
In a statement the firm said: "The outlook for the second half of the current year is below our previous expectations. The significant changes we are undertaking within the business, and those we will announce following the completion of the strategic review, will begin to benefit the business from the end of the second half and will position the business for long-term growth."
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Total revenue in the period from the Clinton brand was £171.7m compared to £178.3m from 21 fewer stores than last year. LFL sales in the 26 weeks were 1% lower, but transaction levels remained the same while spend per head decreased by 1.0%.
Total revenue for the Birthdays brand in the UK for the period was £25.5m compared to £28.6m in the corresponding period last year, representing a reduction in LFL sales of 2.1%.
Cash at the end of the period fell slightly, from £1.0m to £8.6m.
The share price dropped 4.88% to 9.75p by 13:14.
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