Carpetright on the road to recovery as overhaul starts to pay

Carpetright has modernised 290 of its UK shops
Carpetright has modernised 290 of its UK shops
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Carpetright said its focus on targeted promotional activity has boosted its recovery hopes following a big loss in its previous financial year.

The floor coverings business, which has 463 stores in the UK, said in a second quarter update that like-for-like sales lifted 7 per cent in the 11 weeks to October 11 while sales including changes to store space rose 5.7 per cent.

Among efforts to revive the business, 290 of its UK shops have now been modernised in an effort to give them more natural light, updated signage and better layouts.

The boost comes on the back of solid first quarter trading when the firm saw a 6.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales and a 5.2 per cent lift to total revenues in the UK.

The firm posted a £7.2m loss last year, on top of £5.1m the year before and partly dragged down by weak trading at its European operations.

The group, which has sales linked to the housing market, said yesterday its full-year underlying profit expectations remain unchanged.

Chief executive Wilf Walsh said: “I am pleased to report that the group’s trading performance improved year-on-year during the second quarter.

“In the UK our continued focus on effective promotional activity has delivered solid sales growth throughout the period.”

Shore Capital analyst David O’Brien said: “This is encouraging in view of the nervousness surrounding housing market transactions in the UK.”

The group added that like-for-like sales at its 141 stores in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium slipped 0.5 per cent, but added the rate of decline at its European stores has eased.