- Carpetright’s pre-tax profit slumped 42%
- UK like-for-like sales fell 2.9%
- Revenue dropped 3.8%
Carpetright recorded falling sales and profits as boss Wilf Walsh said uneven consumer demand and currency fluctuations made for a “challenging first half”.
The floor coverings specialist has posted a 42% drop in pre-tax profits to £4.1m in the 26 weeks to October 29, while UK like-for-like sales fell 2.9% and like-for-like sales in the rest of Europe declined 1.5% in local currency.
Overall revenue declined 3.8% to £222.3m, although the retailer is maintaining its full-year profit expectations.
The specialist retailer said the 49 upgraded stores that traded during the period recorded stronger sales than the rest of its store estate.
As a result, Carpetright is accelerating its store refurbishment programme and plans to have upgraded 150 stores by year-end, comprising over a third of its UK estate and up 50% on the retailer’s original target.
The retailer closed six UK stores during the period, taking its UK store estate to 429 outlets overall.
The floor coverings specialist said that UK like-for-likes in the six weeks to December 10 were up 2.6%, while sales in the rest of Europe were up 5.9% during the same period.
“A challenging first half”
Walsh said: “We have had a challenging first half – the full impact of the UK decision to leave the EU remains unclear; consumer demand remains uneven; the market is extremely competitive and the impact of currency movements have combined to give us substantial trading headwinds.
“To address these challenges and revitalise the business, we have a programme of activities under way, but these will take time to deliver their full effect.
“We have made an encouraging start to the second half with a return to like-for-like sales growth in both businesses.
“Looking longer term, we are confident that our plan to build on Carpetright’s strong foundations, to modernise the business and to ensure we capitalise as market leader to the full is still on track.”