“For the first time ever we sold over 220 million greeting cards in the last year,” a delighted Paul Fineman, ceo of IG Design Group revealed to PG Buzz yesterday (June 11) having just announced the group’s buoyant annual results, which covered the 12 months to 31 March 2018.
He confirmed that its greeting card sales are continuing to grow and now account for 11% of the group’s £327.5 million global turnover. Pre-tax profit was up by an impressive 51% to £19.7 million.
The group now claims to be the third largest card and gift packaging player in the world – generating retail sales of an estimated £15 billion.
Expanding from its historic business of supplying grocers with own brand Christmas cards, giftwrappings and crackers the company’s strategy to shift emphasis away from such strong seasonality into everyday has provided successful as has the broadening of its retail customer base. In the last year, only 51% of its sales were for Christmas products with sales of everyday and other seasons products almost on a par.
Sales of its single greeting cards soared by 25% in the last year while the volume of giftwrap it sells grew by 9%.
In the last year it sold 100 million single cards alone and over 1 billion metres of giftwrap having become a major supplier to the value retail varietal chains for greeting cards and other paper products.
It has been well placed to benefit from the global growth of both Aldi and Lidl, with IG’s sales with these two of the world’s largest discount retailers having grown by an “average of 95%” over the last year.
Paul told PG Buzz that its Celebrations business (into which greeting cards fall), which represents 74% of the company’s sales remains “a key area of growth” with the coming year likely to see a further shift into everyday sales and minor occasions.
Partyware represented 5.5% of sales in the last year while licensed merchandise across all products accounted for 13% of total sales.
The group’s acquisition of Australian greeting card company Biscay Greetings and US-based Langs have now been fully integrated. The latter has enabled IGD to grow its calendar business, which saw some 15 million units being sold in the last year, up by 20% on the previous year.
IG Design Group sells products to 10,000 customers, who collective account for 200,000 stores in 80 different countries.