Carpet, flooring & homewares specialist Carpetright saw UK like-for-like (LFL) sales rise 3.2 per cent in its third quarter, it has been announced today.
For the 13 weeks ended January 26th 2013, total sales increased 1.6 per cent as the group’s strategy to grow its product range and refurbish existing stores bore fruit.
Over the period, the retailer’s store base declined by four to 476, of which 122 have been modernised and Darren Shapland, Carpetright’s CEO said that the results were in line with management expectations.
“We are pleased to report a period of good like-for-like sales growth in the UK of 3.2 per cent,” he commented.
“Excluding the expected contraction in sales from the wholesale business, our core UK retail business would have reported like-for-like sales growth of 4.7 per cent for the period.
“We believe this performance reflects the success of our programme of self-help initiatives, including the development of our bed business, introduction of our laminate range to more stores and the ongoing programme of store refurbishments, all of which gained momentum in the period.
“Gross margin for the period has been in line with our previously announced expectations and our guidance of a full year gross profit percentage improvement in the range of 200-250 basis points above the prior year, remains unchanged.”
Across the rest of Europe, Carpetright saw LFLs dive 11.5 per cent in local currency terms while total sales dropped 11.2 per cent over the quarter, as strong performances in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland outweighed weakness in the Netherlands.
Shapland concluded: Our focus in the Netherlands is on protecting profit in what remains a very weak consumer environment.
“The Group result for the year to date is in line with management’s expectations and whilst trading conditions remain challenging, we have good momentum in our self-help initiatives.
“That said, as ever, our performance in the final quarter will be critical to the outcome for the year as a whole.”