Floor coverings retailer Carpetright said its turnaround was on track as it returned to underlying sales growth in its new financial year and reported a narrower loss for 2018-19. 

Last year Carpetright's shareholders backed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring plan to keep the company alive.

The plan closed 80 underperforming stores, while 23 were retained on a nil rent basis.

The firm's shares are down 42% year-on-year. 

The group said today it made a statutory pretax loss of £24.8m in the year to April 27 compared to a loss of £69.8m in 2017-18. 

Revenue fell 13.4% to £386.4m, with UK like-for-like sales down 9.1%. 

However, underlying UK sales in the first eight weeks of Carpetright's new financial year were ahead by 8.5% and they were up 4.3% in the Rest of Europe division (Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium). 

With its legacy property issues addressed, Carpetright said it was on schedule to deliver £19m of annualised savings as part of the CVA. 

"Our work is far from finished, and while economic and political uncertainties cloud the near term outlook for the retail sector, our turnaround plan is very much on track," chief executive Wilf Walsh said.

But Carpetright said it plans to close down some of its Irish stores after seeing a 5.5% drop in sales here over the past year.

The company operates 19 shops in the Republic, but has said its Irish store network is "oversized".