Carpetright’s group pre-tax profit has slumped 72 per cent to £16.7m in the 52 weeks to May 2, 2009 as the domestic performance pulled down the group.

Total group sales declined 7.4 per cent to £482.8m. In the UK and Republic of Ireland sales declined 12.9 per cent to £394.1m, while like-for-likes decreased 13.5 per cent. Underlying profit declined 73.1 per cent to £15.6m in the domestic region.

Europe performed better, with total sales increasing 28.9 per cent to £88.7m. Underlying profit jumped 33.3 per cent to £7.2m.

The UK’s largest flooring retailer grew market share in the Netherlands and Belgium, but found Poland tough.

Carpetright cut more than 300 jobs across the group in the year which helped keep costs down.

Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said: “I have said before that I expected my 51st year of selling carpets to be extremely challenging and it has proved to be the case. Market conditions and consumer confidence declined throughout the year, leading to a significant reduction in sales volume and profitability.

“Our principal markets of UK & RoI are in recession and the likelihood is that with unemployment set to rise, the housing market will remain weak. We do not expect a return to more normal trading conditions for at least 12 months.”

During the period, Carpetright experienced its first full year of operations in its new warehouse and cutting facility, which Harris said has provided “additional capacity” and enabled it to “pursue additional business with the large insurers and house builders”.

He added that the acquisition of Sleepright and the “continued growth of our European business” will ensure it is “well placed to trade resiliently”.

He added: “I remain as passionate as ever about our business and am excited about the prospects for the group when trading conditions improve. I am confident our strategy of providing a comprehensive offer with the widest product range, best prices and excellent customer service will support future growth.”