Tough market hampers results
Carpetright posted a profits plunge this morning but said the business is positioned to grow when the market improves.

The UK's largest carpet retailer said pre-tax profit in the 26 weeks to October 29 fell by 18 per cent to£24.9 million. UK and Ireland like-for-like sales fell by 7.1 per cent, despite an increase in market share.

Carpetright chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said: 'Despite weak market conditions, the group has continued to deliver robust operating profits and cash-flows.'

'Our UK and Ireland business has grown market share. A net 12 stores have been opened and the business plans to open a further net 10 stores in the second half. The group is well positioned to grow sales and profits as soon as the market improves.'

Total sales in UK and Ireland fell 6.7 per cent compared with last year, to£189.7 million. However, the group said: 'We have a clear strategy for growth, both by expanding and further improving our [existing] formats in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands, but also through our exciting plans for Poland.'

Numis analyst Steve Davis said: 'There is no update on current trading - that comes at the end of January - although Lord Harris comments that the overall floor-coverings market remains weak. The British Retail Consortium made a similar comment in its November Retail Sales Monitor.'