United Carpets has recorded a four-fold profit increase in its half-year as its restructuring programme makes progress.

In the six months to September 30, the carpet and floor coverings retailer revealed pre-tax profit surged from £110,000 last year to £452,000. It generated £10.3m of sales, a fall from the previous six-month period ending at March 31 when sales hit £11.3m.

Like-for-like sales were down 1.6% in the period but this was a big improvement on the previous six-month period when they fell 9.7%, as the retailer closed unviable stores.

The retailer said since the half-year end to December 12 like-for-likes had jumped 2.4%.

It added that since it began a restructure a year ago it has established a sounder, debt-free base made up of a smaller, more profitable portfolio of stores.

United Carpets chief executive Paul Eyre said: “These results should give shareholders increasing confidence in the future of the business. The restructuring programme, begun last year and continued into this year, has reduced the number of stores to 60, down from a peak of 86 stores, removing those which were no longer viable.

“As a result the business is in a much better position with which to operate successfully in what continues to be a challenging market.”

United Carpets chairman Peter Cowgill added that the retailer will continue to trade cautiously.

“Whilst there has been some encouraging signs of an improvement in the economy, this does not yet appear to have materialised in consumers feeling better off. We are therefore not anticipating an upsurge in consumer spending in the short term; instead we hope to gain market share from a continued focus on customer service and providing genuine value for money offers on good quality products,” he said.