• Carpetright group pre-tax profits (excluding exceptionals) up 33.1% to 17.3m
  • UK like-for-likes edge up 2.8%
  • UK operating profit up 17.5% to £16.8m
  • 25 underperforming stores closed, reducing the UK estate to 435
  • New Carpetright branding to be introduced across the business from July 1
  • 100 UK stores to be refurbished within the next 12 months at a capital cost of £10m

Carpetright has reported full-year profit and sales growth and plans to roll out its new signage across the business as of next month.

The carpet and flooring specialist has reported a 33.1% increase in group pre-tax profits, excluding exceptionals, to £17.3m for the 52 weeks to April 30.

Carpetright’s pre-tax group profits including exceptional items grew 137% to £12.8m. 

In the UK, its operating profit increased 17.5% to £16.8m and its like-for-likes edged up 2.8% following the closure of 25 underperforming stores. Carpetright now has 435 shops in the UK. 

In the rest of Europe, where the retailer has 137 stores, operating profit soared 733.3% to £2.5m and like-for-likes grew 4.8% after eight store openings and eight closures.

Carpetright chief executive Wilf Walsh has also today unveiled a range of strategic initiatives to “update and broaden the appeal of the Carpetright brand”.

Following a trial of new-store formats, the retailer plans to roll out new Carpetright branding across the business from next month, and to refurbish the UK store estate, with 100 shops to be completed in the next year.

While focusing on improving customer service, the retailer said it is also introducing new hard flooring sections to UK stores and releasing ‘exclusive to Carpetright’ and ‘essential value’ ranges.

Walsh said that the group has had a year of “significant progress” while “establishing real momentum with its plans to update and revitalise” the business.

He explained that the range of strategic initiatives will ”continue to broaden the appeal of the Carpetright brand and reposition the business to ensure it is better able to capitalise on its market leadership position”.

Walsh said: ”Customer reaction to the initiatives trialled in our four concept stores during the period was overwhelmingly positive and we are excited about the opportunity of extending these to the wider estate commencing on July 1.”

He added, however, that trading conditions in the early weeks of the new financial year have been “more challenging, against strong comparatives in the prior year and in a market which is increasingly competitive, particularly in the UK”.

In addition, Walsh said that the outlook has been “further complicated” by the outcome of the EU referendum. “We are cautious about the impact the associated uncertainty will have on consumer confidence”, he said.

Walsh threw his weight behind the Remain campaign as part of a Leadership debate at Retail Week Live.

“Whilst we have a long journey ahead in transforming Carpetright, we have a clear direction and are confident that our plans for repositioning the business will yield positive results.”

Carpetright’s like-for-likes edged up 2.4% in its third quarter, although total sales dipped 1.3%.

Speaking to Retail Week, Walsh expressed bitter disappointment at the outcome of the EU referendum but insisted the business is “full steam ahead”.