Carpetright’s full year profit predictions remain unchanged following a successful final quarter. While profits are gradual, the carpet specialist is confident that its new retail concept stores will continue to grow company revenue.
In the UK like-for-likes rose by 0.7% in the 12 weeks to 23 April 2016 and up 2.9% for the financial year to date. Two stores closed in the final quarter resulting in a total of 35 store closures and nine openings in the year. Carpetright now trades in a total of 434 UK locations.
In the rest of Europe, including the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, like-for-likes increased by 1.9% during the 12 week period and 4.6% for the financial year to date. One store opened and two closed totalling an even eight openings and eight closures in the full year.
“The UK business continued to make progress in the final quarter, against strong comparatives in the prior year and in a market which was increasingly competitive. Against this background, we have delivered two year compound like-for-like sales growth in excess of 10% and, having rebalanced our promotional activity, are pleased to report revised gross margin guidance for the full year of a decline of around 80-100 basis points, an improvement on the previous range,” said Carpetright Chief Executive Wilf Walsh.
“Our plan to revitalise the Carpetright brand remains on track. Results from the trial of our new retail concept have been encouraging with the trial stores outperforming comparable stores in the estate. We have now completed our analysis of the customer data from the trial, enabling us to finalise the features of a new store format and brand identity which we will shortly begin to roll-out across our UK business in a phased refurbishment programme. In tandem, we continue to make progress with our efforts to reduce store occupancy costs, with a number of further property deals in the pipeline. We look forward to providing shareholders with a comprehensive update on our strategic plan at the time of our results announcement at the end of June.
“Trading in the Rest of Europe continues in line with our expectations.”