Carpetright lowers profit expectations as sales edge up

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carpetright

Carpetright has seen sales edge up over the last six months amid “volatile” markets in Europe and the UK, forcing it to drop its profit expectations.

In the 25 weeks to October 21, like-for-like UK group sales grew 0.8 per cent, largely driven by a 2.1 per cent rise in sales in its flooring category.

Growth was hampered by a “re-ranging activity” in its beds business in efforts to improve its product range.

Meanwhile, a further 21 stores have been refurbished and converted into the retailer’s new format, totalling more than half of its UK estate.

Throughout the 25 week period, Carpetright saw a net store number reduction of seven and it now trades from 419 stores, having shut nine and opened two.

The rest of Europe fared slightly better, seeing a 6.3 per cent jump in like-for-like sales in local currency terms.

“While trading conditions in the UK remained volatile over the first half, the 2.1% increase in like-for-like sales in our core flooring category is pleasing given the increased level of competition,” chief executive Wilf Walsh said.

“Sales in our rest of Europe business have been equally volatile, but we have been encouraged by more recent like-for-like sales growth, in part reflecting the strong post-refurbishment performance of the 25 rebranded stores we have now completed.

“Whilst we expect the group first half profit to be below that of the prior year, we are pleased with the improvement in sales in the Rest of Europe and beds in the UK over the past few weeks.

“When these are combined with continued progress in our core flooring category we expect a significantly stronger second half with full year profit within the current range of market expectations.”

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