United Carpets suffers profits fall

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UNITED Carpets said half-year profits more than halved amid the tough consumer environment.

The Mexborough-based floor coverings group said it is focused on “self-help” measures to take advantage of an upturn when it arrives.

United said pre-tax profits of £267,000 in the six months to the end of September were a “reasonable performance”, compared with £604,000 for the same period a year ago.

Revenues edged up to £13.47m from £13.36m a year earlier. However, like-for-like sales slid 0.8 per cent.

United said it is not paying an interim dividend and will review its final dividend as it looks to preserve its financial position.

Chief executive Paul Eyre said: “We are pleased to have maintained a similar level of sales to last year given the continued uncertainty and inflationary increases impacting upon UK consumers.

“We have benefitted from our franchise model and our focus on providing good value to our customers but the increase in the number of less productive corporate stores together with a difficult trading environment for beds has adversely affected profitability in this period.

“Overall, I believe this represents a reasonable performance in a challenging market but, while there is so much uncertainty in the UK and across Europe, the board believes it is important to adopt a conservative approach and looks to preserve the group’s current financial position.”

United sells carpet, laminate and vinyl flooring through its network of 17 owned stores and 68 franchised branches. It believes the franchised model offers “important competitive advantages”.