Weak UK market blamed
Floor coverings retailer Carpetright has unveiled a drop in full-year profits, despite a significant upturn in the second half.

Profit before tax was down 11.4 per cent to£64.2 million for the year to April 29.

Overall group sales were£451.4 million, down 2.4 per cent. However, total group sales for the second half were up 4.1 per cent.

In the UK and Ireland, like-for-like sales fell 2.8 per cent. The group said this reflected the 'weak nature of the UK retail market'.

In Europe, like-for-like sales increased 6.9 per cent.

Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said: 'Following a difficult first half, we have delivered a significant improvement in our second half sales and operating profits.'

Harris added: 'Although customers remain cautious, I am confident the group is well-placed to grow in our existing markets and continues to look at opportunities to develop in new markets.'

In Europe, the flooring retailer opened 10 stores during the year, including two stores in Poland. The group now trades from 538 outlets and plans to open a further 60 stores, including 20 concessions.