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Carpetright like for likes sales steady as market conditions remain tough

While total sales fell again, Carpetright will be buoyed by its more resilient l-f-l performance, which only declined by 0.2% in the UK. This is a significant improvement on the end of the 2010/11 financial year, which declined by 6.3% in the UK & Ireland for the 11 weeks to April 11, 2011. Despite a relatively soft comparative of -3.4% for the 13 weeks to July 30, 2011, and the re-classification of Irish sales boosting UK performance this is still an encouraging performance for Carpetright.

Sales in the rest of Europe fell by 2.3%, with the inclusion of the Irish business being the main factor. When measured under the previous basis of just Holland and Belgium, sales were flat.

Overall UK sales declined by 2.3% as Carpetright closed a net of 25 outlets, with the majority being concessions. 16 of the 17 concessions it closed were at the collapsed DIY specialist Focus. It closed eight full stores leaving it with a store portfolio of 489 stores and 25 concessions in the UK. These closures reduced its floorspace by 2.7% over the quarter. Carpetright continues to see consumers changing the way they use its stores, with the greater use of internet research enabling it to reduce its store density.

While the going will remain difficult for Carpetright, this is an encouraging set of results. Once the closure of underperforming space is completed, total sales should catch up its like-for-like performance and it will exit the downturn a leaner, stronger retailer.

Source : Verdict Research

09 August 2011
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