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Carpetright reports increased full year profits

Carpet and flooring retailer Carpetright has reported making a year of significant progress with “solid” growth in profit.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Carpetright reports increased full year profits

Carpet and flooring retailer Carpetright has reported making a year of significant progress with “solid” growth in profit.

In the 52 weeks to 30 April, underlying profit before tax rose by 33.1% to £17.3 million but group revenue decreased by 1.3% to £456.8 million as the retailer rationalised its store estate. Statutory pre-tax profit was up 137% to £12.8 million.

UK like-for-like sales edged up 2.8% while UK underlying operating profit climbed by 17.5% to £16.8 million. The company said it had made significant progress in reducing the number of underperforming UK stores with a net 25 closures to take the total UK estate to 435 stores.

In the retailer’s Rest of Europe business like-for-like sales grew by 4.8%. Underlying operating profit was £2.5 million compared to £0.3 million in the previous year.

Carpetright said it was embarking on a range of strategic initiatives to update and broaden the appeal of its brand. These include introducing the new Carpetright branding across the business from 1 July, a phased refurbishment of the UK store estate, and the launch of new hard flooring sections in UK stores.

Wilf Walsh, Carpetright chief executive, said: "I am pleased to able to report on another year of significant progress. The group has again delivered solid growth in profit, accompanied by consistent like-for-like sales growth in both the UK and Rest of Europe, whilst establishing real momentum with its plans to update and revitalise its business."

Looking at current trading, Carpetright said it had experienced a challenging start to the new financial year against strong comparatives in the prior year and an increasingly competitive market. In the UK May was a difficult month with like-for-like sales down 7.6% but June was better with sales up 6.3%. These figures combine to give a decline of 1% for the eight weeks to 25 June. In the Rest of Europe like-for-like sales rose by 1.3% on a local currency basis over the same period.

Walsh added: “The outlook has been further complicated by the outcome of last week's referendum and we are cautious about the impact the associated uncertainty will have on consumer confidence.

"Whilst we have a long journey ahead in transforming Carpetright, we have a clear direction and are confident that our plans for repositioning the business will yield positive results."

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