Carpetright founder Lord Harris has taken over as executive chairman of the floorings specialist as chief executive Darren Shapland stands down after Carpetright issued a profit warning.

Shapland had been in the role for just 17 months.

Carpetright warned its full-year profits will be “significantly below” its previous expectations this morning. UK like-for-likes dipped 2.5% and total sales fell 4.1%, however like-for-likes in the rest of Europe dropped 7.6% and total sales declined by 7.8%. 

Graham Harris, who joined Carpetright just four months ago as trading director, has been promoted to chief operating officer and will join the board.

Lord Harris of Peckham said: “I am disappointed that Darren Shapland, who has made a significant contribution to Carpetright over the last 17 months, is leaving the business, but he does so with our thanks and we wish him well for the future. 

“I am enthusiastic about tackling the challenges that the business continues to face in these difficult economic times and pleased that Graham Harris will be working alongside me as chief operating officer, having already made a strong contribution to the group since joining us earlier this year.  I shall also be working with the board to develop longer term management succession arrangements.”

Graham Harris said: “I am looking forward to working more closely with Lord Harris. Although I have been with Carpetright for only four months I have been impressed with the underlying strength of the business.”

The Netherlands is the key driver of its poor overseas performance and Carpetright expects the Dutch business to be loss-making this year. It said further operational actions have been taken to mitigate the loss. 

Despite the sales fall, Carpetright said its self-help activities continued to deliver growth, with gross profit up 140 basis points in the UK and 70 basis points overseas.