Harris blames interest rate rise
Carpetright this morning reported tough trading in its UK and Ireland business, and warned that profits, excluding property deals, will now be only marginally ahead of last year.

Second-half like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland are running down 2.2 per cent, and performance has deteriorated over the past 10 weeks, with like-for-likes down 5.2 per cent. International sales have been much better, with like-for-likes up 4.2 per cent in the second half.

Carpetright chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham said that the interest rate rise in January had hit performance. However, he added: 'I am confident that Carpetright continues to gain market share.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said that the company is still taking market share from Allied Carpets. He added: 'Despite the heady rating, the yield and the tightness of the shareholdings should keep the price steady after an initial markdown.'