Carpetright lifts UK sales

Carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright said store refurbishments and an expansion to its laminate floor and bed ranges helped drive domestic sales in the third quarter.

Carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright said store refurbishments and an expansion to its laminate floor and bed ranges helped drive domestic sales in the third quarter.

Like-for-like (LFL) sales in the UK increased by 3.2% and total sales in the UK increased by 1.6%.

LFL sales in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, fell by 11.5%. Total sales declined by 11.2%.

Carpetright said the solid performance in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland was offset by continued weakness in the Netherlands.

Chief Executive Darren Shapland said: "We believe this performance reflects the success of our programme of self-help initiatives, including the development of our bed business, introduction of our laminate range to more stores and the ongoing programme of store refurbishments, all of which gained momentum in the period."

"Gross margin for the period has been in line with our previously announced expectations and our guidance of a full year gross profit percentage improvement in the range of 200-250 basis points above the prior year, remains unchanged," he added.

Shapland said the group's focus in the Netherlands is on protecting profit in what remains a very weak consumer environment.

Otherwise results for the year to date are in line with management's expectations.

"Whilst trading conditions remain challenging, we have good momentum in our self-help initiatives. That said, as ever, our performance in the final quarter will be critical to the outcome for the year as a whole."

CJ

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