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Carpetright posts fall in first-half profit and sales

Carpetright has said it expects its performance to improve in the second half of its financial year as it reported a fall in first-half revenue and profits.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Carpetright posts fall in first-half profit and sales

Carpetright has said it expects its performance to improve in the second half of its financial year as it reported a fall in first-half revenue and profits.

During the 26 weeks to 26 October, the group’s underlying pre-tax profit dropped to £3 million from £4.5 million in the same period last year. Group revenue fell 2.2% to £222.2 million while UK like-for-like revenues edged down 0.8%.

In an interim statement issued today Carpetright said its self-help initiatives in the UK had continued to show growth against a backdrop of volatile trading conditions.

In the rest of Europe, which includes The Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland, like-for-like sales fell by 8.6%.

Carpetright warned in October that its full-year profits would be below expectations, blaming a softer market in the UK and a further deterioration in The Netherlands.

Commenting on the results issued today, Lord Harris, executive chairman, said: “Against a backdrop of volatile trading conditions, our first half performance reflects an improvement in profits in the UK, driven by the continued success of our self-help initiatives, offset by a move into loss in our rest of Europe business.”

During the period, Carpetright reduced its number of stores by a net four taking the total to 474. It also modernised a further 38 stores, making a total of 224 revamped stores.

The group said it was continuing to experience difficult trading conditions in The Netherlands, where the floor coverings market remains weak, adding that it was now focusing on self-help measures to improve performance in the second half. Stores in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland are continuing to perform in line with expectations.

Lord Harris added: "The success of our self-help activities in improving group performance during the period continues to be encouraging, demonstrating that a focus on factors within our control can yield good results. While we anticipate trading conditions will remain challenging, we expect these self-help initiatives will underpin an improvement in group performance in the second half and our expectations for the year as a whole remain unchanged."

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