Carpetright pre-tax profit grew 15.8% to £11m in the 26 weeks to October 31 as the domestic arm clocked up it strongest half year performance since 2004.

Total group revenue rose 9% to £258m, while like-for-like sales in the UK & Ireland jumped 3.9% and total sales increased 9.6% to £213.3m.

Underlying operating profit in the division rocketed 67.9% to £14.1m as the market-leading floor specialist benefited from the “contraction of the Allied Carpets business in the period since July 2009” as well as improved mortgage approval figures.

3.6% of the revenue increase came from the Sleepright acquisition.

In Carpetright’s European arm, like-for-likes slid 3.8% while total sales grew 5.9%. However Carpetright said this performance was “in a market which it is estimated has declined by around 15%”, meaning the retailer “continued to increase market share”.

Carpetright chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said: “We are pleased with this significantly improved first half performance, which clearly demonstrates the strength of the Group.

“While we remain cautious about the retail market in the balance of the financial year and through 2010, we have made a good start to the second half, with the added potential of more insurance and housebuilder business to come. Consequently, the Board has confidence that the Group is well positioned to make further progress.”  

Carpetright said its promotional stance “remains consistent”, and has upped its ad spend 24%, focusing on “strong price theme, and which also emphasised product quality and service credentials”. It also launched a transactional website in the period.

Average store headcount reduced 8% to 2,284 employees.

Carpetright operates 590 UK stores and 126 in its European territories — The Netherlands, Belgium and Poland — where it is retreating from after declining sales.