Online greetings card retailer Moonpig stays ahead even as UK shops reopen

FILE PHOTO: Moonpig and THG (The Hut Group) logos are seen on laptop in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: Moonpig and THG (The Hut Group) logos are seen on laptop in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken, January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

September 28, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) -British online greetings card retailer Moonpig raised its annual revenue forecast on Tuesday, saying orders remained above pre-pandemic levels even as rivals reopened stores following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Moonpig, which listed on the stock market in February, accounts for nearly two-thirds of the online greetings card market in Britain and the Netherlands.

The company said it expected group revenue for the year ending in April 2022 to be between about 270 million pounds and 285 million pounds ($369 million-389 million), up from its previous estimate of 250 million to 260 million pounds.

Moonpig previously expected demand to slow as shops opened up after months of restrictions.

However, it said trading had been “strong” in the last five months, with order frequency remaining “elevated”.

Shares in Moonpig, which were sold at 350 pence in its February listing, jumped 5% to 380 pence in early deals on Tuesday.

The company could face increased competition from rival Card Factory, which said on Tuesday it would shift from mainly selling cards in its stores to selling cards and gifts both in store and online.

Still, analysts at Jefferies, who rate Moonpig a buy and had forecast annual revenue of 257 million pounds, said of Moonpig’s upgraded outlook: “This looks an encouraging start to FY22, and sufficient to drive a 9% upgrade to full-year revenue guidance”.

Shares in Card Factory, which had risen more than 40% this year, edged up 0.8% to 60.2 pence.

($1 = 0.7311 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Kate Holton and Susan Fenton)