UK like-for- like sales up for Carpetright plc
Store refurbishments and cold Spring weather keep the specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer on track.
In its pre- close trading update for the 12 weeks ended 20 April 2013, Carpetright said the Group result for the financial year to date is in line with management's expectations.
In the UK like-for-like sales in the UK increased by 5.6%. Total sales in the UK increased by 4.4%. The number of stores was increased by one during the period to 477, of which 180 have now been modernised.
In local currency terms, like-for-like sales in the Rest of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland) decreased by 10.2%. Total sales declined by 10.2%. Solid performances in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland was offset by continued weakness in the Netherlands.
Darren Shapland, Chief Executive, said, "We are pleased to report good like-for-like sales growth in the UK of 5.6%. Excluding the expected contraction in sales from the wholesale business, our core UK retail business would have reported like-for-like sales growth of 6.7% for the period. Whilst the recent cold spring weather has been positive to our sales, we believe this performance reflects the continued success of our programme of self-help initiatives. These include the ongoing programme of store refurbishments, the introduction of our improved laminate range to more stores, the development of our bed business and the increased use of digital media. This has been achieved in a market which remains challenging with consumers very focused on getting a good deal, necessitating a highly visible and compelling promotional programme.
"Gross margin for the period has been in line with previously announced expectations and our view of the full year gross profit percentage improvement is now in the range of 225-250 basis points above the prior year.
"The Group result for the year to date is in line with management's expectations and whilst trading conditions remain challenging, we have good momentum with our self-help initiatives which we believe will carry onto the new financial year."
The Group will report its preliminary results for the financial year ending 27 April 2013 on Tuesday, 25 June 2013.
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