Carpetright's like-for-like sales down 2.9% in UK
However, the company said it has revised its full year guidance of a decline in gross profit percentage to between 150 and 200 basis points, due to a combination of increased sourcing costs following the devaluation of sterling and competitive market conditions.
Like-for-like sales in the company’s Rest of Europe business, which includes The Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, increased by 0.9% in local currency terms.
Wilf Walsh, Carpetright chief executive, said: "Trading conditions in the UK in the first half reflect variable consumer demand and increased competitive pressures. Against this background, our plan to revitalise the UK business remains on track and we are now almost halfway towards our target of 100 store refurbishments in the current financial year, with investment in the first half weighted to the latter part of the period.”
The retailer said 49 stores are now trading under Carpetright’s new brand identity and are delivering sales growth above comparable stores in the rest of the estate.
Carpetright has opened one store and closed seven in the year to date to give a total of 429 trading locations.
The company said the introduction of new hard flooring sections in 26 stores has contributed to a 15% increase in laminate and luxury vinyl tile sales.
Walsh added: "As we enter the second half, we are looking forward to implementing the next phase of our refurbishment and rebranding programme as we continue our drive to update and revitalise the business. With the benefit of recent UK investment expected to flow through as the second half progresses, further significant refurbishment work already underway and a continued improvement in the Rest of Europe, our guidance for the year as a whole remains unchanged."
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