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Carpetright preliminary results

Carpetright plc, Europe’s leading specialist and floor covering retailer, today announces its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 28 April 2012.

Headlines

Group
• Total Group Revenue decreased by 3.1% to £471.5 (2011: £486.8m).
• Underlying 1 profit before tax of £4.0m (2011: £16.9m)
• Profit before tax of £13.5m (2011: £6.6m)
• Underlying earnings per share of 4.5p (2011: 18.0p)
• Basic earnings per share of 16.4p (2011: 6.8p)
• No final dividend (2011: Nil)
• Net debt reduced by £46.6m to £19.1m (2011: £65.7m), significantly better than previous guidance.

UK
• Total revenue decreased by 3.8% to £381.6m (2011: £396.6m), with like-for-like sales down 0.2% (first half decline of 2.4%; second half increase of 1.9%).
• Gross margin reduced by 330 bps to 58.9% reflecting higher levels of promotional discount (first half down 430 bps; second half down 210 bps).
• Costs reduced by £6.7m, a 2.9% decline in the year.
• Underlying 1 operating profit of £2.8m (2011: £17.8m)
• The number of stores decreased by 49 to 490 in the year.

The Rest of Europe
• Total reported revenue decreased by 0.3% to £89.9m (2011: £90.2m). In local currency this was a decline of 2.0% with like-for-like sales down 1.2%
• Underlying 1 reported operating profit increased to £5.2m (2011: £3.4m)
• The number of stores increased by 2 to 142

1. ‘Underlying’ excludes exceptional items

Lord Harris, Chairman commented :
“In my statement last year I said I expected the coming year would be challenging, with an extended period of economic uncertainty and fragile consumer confidence, and this proved to be the case. As a result, the Group faced difficult trading conditions leading to a reduction in sales volume, but we remain profitable and continue to generate strong operating cash flows.”

Darren Shapland, Chief Executive commented:

“I am excited to have joined Carpetright as its Chief Executive. Whilst it has been seven years since I was previously in an executive role here, Carpetright is a business I know well. Notwithstanding the on-going challenges of the difficult consumer environment, I have been encouraged by what I have seen so far in the six weeks since becoming Chief Executive.”

Outlook
Looking forward, fragile consumer confidence continues to produce a weak and volatile floor coverings market. We are encouraged to see a positive impact from the self-help actions taken during the year, whilst recognising within our plans that economic conditions will remain difficult. The Group is well positioned to deliver future profitable sales growth once consumer demand improves.

Notes
1. All sales figures are quoted after deducting VAT.
2. Underlying’ excludes exceptional items and related tax.
3. Like-for-like sales calculated as this year’s net sales divided by last year’s net sales for all stores that are at least 12 months old at the beginning of our financial year.

Source : Carpetright
www.carpetright.plc.uk/press/archive/2012-2012-06-26prelims-results-announcement

26 June 2012
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