But beds snore
United Carpets revealed like-for-like sales for the six months to September 30 up 11.6 per cent on 2005.

Turnover increased 17.4 per cent to£8.97 million, compared with£7.64 million in 2005. Pre-tax profit rose 6.8 per cent to£400,000.

Chief executive Paul Eyre said: 'The group has performed well during this trading period. We have introduced a number of new franchises, which together with a slightly improved trading environment has lifted the group's overall performance.'

Chairman Peter Cowgill said a key focus for the coming year would be to improve the retail expertise within each store and open new shops on a measured basis.

Floor coverings delivered a 12.9 per cent increase in like-for-likes, partly because of activity in the housing market, but also to improved visual merchandising and increased advertising spend, according to Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner.

Like-for-like bed sales increased only 0.8 per cent. However, the retailer is working with franchises to improve the visual merchandising and presentation of beds, reviewing space allocated to bedding and improving sales staff training.

Ratner said: 'This is a good performance and the like-for-like increase is much better than that of the market leader Carpetright, as well as the industry as a whole, which is estimated to be down.'

Former Topps Tiles director Ray Tricker joined the company as retail operations director on January 1.