Carpetright wins over investors as sales rebound

 
Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Carpetright soared yesterday after the high street retailer said it expected full-year profit to be at the top end of forecasts thanks to a pick-up in sales both at home and overseas.

The retailer, which kits out homes with carpets, rugs and flooring, said group revenues rose 2.6 per cent to £227.9m in the six months to the end of October, up from £222.2m in the same period last year.

UK revenue rose five per cent, with sales at stores open over a year up 6.5 per cent thanks to promotions and work done to spruce up its stores. Carpetright said 63 per cent of its estate, or 290 stores, has now been revamped.

Its Europe division, made up of Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, saw like-for-like sales fall 3.3 per cent, but the unit returned to profit in the half due to lower costs and improved sourcing that boosted its margins.

Carpetright’s shares, which have fallen by a third this year after a string of profit warnings and tough trading in the Netherlands, jumped 14 per cent last night on the back of the results.

“Having made a solid start to the year, we now expect full-year underlying pretax profits to be towards the upper end of current market expectations,” Wilf Walsh, who joined as chief executive in July, said.

The firm said current market expectations for the year to 2 May ranged from £8m to £11m.

Lord Harris stepped down as chairman at the end of October, 26 years after founding the company. He has been succeeded by Bob Ivell, chairman of pub group Mitchells and Butlers.

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