Carpetright, the market leading floor coverings retailer, has posted the first quarterly like-for-like sales rise at its core business since the fourth quarter of 2007/08.

The store group notched up a 1.4 per cent comparable-store sales increase in the 13 weeks to August 1, when total UK and Ireland sales rose 6.6 per cent. Group turnover at the 707-store business advanced 7.5 per cent.

Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham described the performance as “encouraging”. He said: “By successfully leveraging our operational efficiencies and economies of scale, we have the ability to react decisively as opportunities arise. The recent announcement of the proposed closure of 150 Allied Carpets stores is one such opportunity.”

Sales at Carpetright’s European stores – in Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland – slowed in the period “as a consequence of weakening economic conditions”. European sales rose 0.9 per cent on a constant currency basis and like-for-likes fell 2.8 per cent.

Kaupthing analyst Matthew McEachran described Carpetright’s update as “very positive” and said: “We suspect that major upgrades could be on the cards today – earlier than hoped.”