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Carpetright's like-for-like sales edge up in UK

Carpetright has announced that trading for the year to date is in line with management expectations as it reports a small increase in like-for-like sales in the UK.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Carpetright's like-for-like sales edge up in UK

Carpetright has announced that trading for the year to date is in line with management expectations as it reports a small increase in like-for-like sales in the UK.

In a trading statement for the 12 weeks to 13 October, the retailer said its like-for-like sales in the UK edged up 0.6%, although total UK sales fell by 0.6% due to the reduction in the number of stores year-on-year.

In the rest of Europe, which includes the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, like-for-like sales fell by 12.7% while total sales declined by 12.2%. The group said its Rest of Europe performance was continuing to be affected by the deterioration of consumer confidence in the Netherlands, where the floor coverings market is very weak.

Carpetright reduced its UK store base by two during the period to 484, of which 82 stores were refurbished. 

Darren Shapland, chief executive, said: "We are pleased to report like-for-like sales growth in the UK.  Excluding the expected contraction in sales from the wholesale business), our core UK retail business would have reported like-for-like sales growth of 2.4% for the period.  Whilst the underlying floor coverings market remains volatile, our self-help actions such as the development of our bed proposition, extension of our laminate range to more stores and the impact of our store refurbishment programme, continue to deliver positive results."

The group said its gross margin for the period continued to improve in line with its previously announced expectations and said its guidance of a full year gross margin improvement in the range of 200-250 basis points above the prior year, remained unchanged.

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