The UK’s biggest floorings retailer Carpetright has shelved plans for privatisation so that it can grow the business into a FTSE 100 company.

Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham, who tried unsuccessfully to take the business private in December 2007, said he wants to keep Carpetright as a public company for the foreseeable future.

He said: “We had one go at pri­vatisation. We wished we’d got it, but we didn’t. Now we want to grow as fast as we can as a public company. We want to try to get into the FTSE 100.”

He added that there are “three or four very big shareholders that want the company to stay public”.

It was previously thought the retailer had only temporarily put privatisation plans on ice because of the recession.

Carpetright’s group pre-tax profit slumped 72 per cent to £16.7m in the year to May 2, 2009. In its home market like-for-likes decreased 13.5 per cent. In Europe, sales were up 28.9 per cent to £88.7m.

Harris said the retailer is in a strong position and will continue to take market share, but added he “doesn’t see any improvement until 2012”.

Carpetright will enter the business-to-business market as it seeks to diversify its revenue streams and is in talks with “five or six of the largest house builders in the country”.