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Carpetright UK sales edge up as Europe drags

Carpetright, Britain's biggest floor covering retailer, posted a small rise in underlying second quarter sales at its core UK business, as the rollout of store refurbishments and its laminate and bed ranges helped boost trading.

The group on Tuesday said sales at British stores open for more than a year rose by 0.6 percent in the 12 weeks to October 13, its fiscal second quarter, compared with a 1.7 percent rise in the first quarter of the year.

Total sales in the UK fell by 0.6 percent due to a year-on-year reduction in store numbers.

"Whilst the underlying floor coverings market remains volatile, our self-help actions such as the development of our bed proposition, extension of our laminate range to more stores and the impact of our store refurbishment programme, continue to deliver positive results," Chief Executive Darren Shapland said.

Like-for-like sales in its 141-store European unit - Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands - fell by 12.7 percent, having fallen 6.3 percent in the previous quarter, reflecting weak consumer confidence in the Netherlands in particular.

The group, which makes around 80 percent of sales in the UK from 484 stores, said its expectations for the full-year remained unchanged.

Carpetright is expected to deliver a pretax profit for the full-year of 10.54 million pounds, according to a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

Shares in Carpetright closed at 699.5 pence on Monday, up 33 percent on a year ago, valuing the business at around 470 million pounds.

Source : Neil Maidment – Interactive Investor

16 October 2012
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