Retail news round-up on July 29, 2014: Poundland appoints former Carpetright boss Darren Shapland as its chairman, Next raises full-year profit guidance for second time and Carpetright posts 5.2% sales jump

Morrisons appoints Andrew Higginson as its chairman as he steps down from Poundland

Morrisons has appointed Andrew Higginson as its chairman, replacing Sir Ian Gibson when he retires next year. Higginson will step down from his current role as chairman of Poundland. Poundland has appointed former Carpetright boss Darren Shapland as its new chairman who will take over with immediate effect. He has been the senior independent director at Poundland since February, prior to the single-price point retailer’s IPO. He has also formerly worked at Kingfisher, Sainsbury’s and the Burton Group.

Next raises full-year pre-tax profit expectations for second time this year

Next has increased full-year expectations for the second time this year, following a bumper first half. Next has increased full-year sales growth guidance to 7% to 10%, against previous guidance of 5.5% to 9.5%. This therefore raises pre-tax profit expectations £25m, forecasting it will generate between £775m and £815m. The fashion retailer revealed sales jumped 10.7% in its first half to July 26, driven partly by new stores. The fashion retailer revealed retail sales increased 7.5% and its directory division grew 16.2%.

Carpetright posts 5.2% quarterly sales jump driven by UK

Carpetright has posted total sales up 5.2% in the 13 weeks to July 26.The carpet and floor coverings specialist said UK like-for-likes jumped 6.1%. But gross profit fell 260 basis points in the period and it has revised its guidance of a decline for the full-year between 50 and 100 basis points. Carpetright’s business in the rest of Europe posted a 3.6% drop in like-for-like sales and total sales declined 3.9%, but the impact of currency exchange rates means the European business recorded a 10.1% fall.