Carpet, flooring & homewares specialist Carpetright has today reported a slight increase in like-for-like (LFL) sales, which rose 0.6 per cent over its second quarter.
In the 12 weeks ended October 13th 2012, total sales declined 0.6 per cent as a result of store closures, which saw the group decrease its store portfolio by two to 484 as it continues its refurbishment plans.
Despite this decrease, the group is positive in its outlook for the remainder of the year and CEO Darren Shapland pointed out that, excluding the expected contraction in sales from the wholesale business, the UK arm would have reported a LFL sales increase of 2.4 per cent for the period.
Across the rest of the group’s European operations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Republic of Ireland, LFLs plummeted 12.7 per cent while total sales fell 12.2 per cent over the period as the store base reduced by two to 141.
Shapland explained the figures, commenting: “The key driver in the performance of the Rest of Europe continues to be the deterioration of consumer confidence in the Netherlands, where the floor coverings market remains very weak.
“In the UK, whilst the underlying floor coverings market remains volatile, our self-help actions such as the development of our bed proposition, extension of our laminate range to more stores and the impact of our store refurbishment programme, continue to deliver positive results.”
In line with expectations, gross margin for the quarter continued to improve and the group expects a full year improvement in the range of 200-250 basis points above the previous year.
Shapland concluded: “The majority of this margin improvement will be realised in the first half, as we annualise the margin improvement measures implemented in the second half of last year.
“The Group result for the year to date is in line with management’s expectations and, our view for the year as a whole remains unchanged.”