Carpetright profit falls in tough marketsTuesday 10 December 2013 07.52
Carpetright, Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer, said it expected a better performance in the second half of the year after posting a drop in first-half profit in tough markets in the UK and in the Netherlands.
The firm had warned on its annual profit in October, blaming a softer market in Britain and a further deterioration in the Netherlands.
Carpetright said today it made a pre-tax profit of £3m sterling in the six months to October 26, down from £4.5m the same time last year.
Group revenue fell 2.2% to £222.2m, with sales at UK stores open over a year down 0.8% and like-for-like sales in the rest of Europe division - Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland - slumping 8.6%.
The firm trades from 474 UK stores and 142 in the rest of Europe division.
"Against a backdrop of volatile trading conditions, our first half performance reflects an improvement in profits in the UK, driven by the continued success of our self-help initiatives, offset by a move into loss in our rest of Europe business," said founder, chairman and major shareholder Philip Harris.
Harris, 71, resumed a full-time executive role with Carpetright in October, when the firm parted company with its chief executive Darren Shapland.
Though he anticipated trading conditions would remain challenging, he forecast an improvement in group performance in the second half, noting encouraging data in mortgage approvals ,and said expectations for the year as a whole were unchanged.