Carpetright shares rally as half-year profits jump by a third

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Carpetright's new trial concept store on Clapham High Street (Source: Carpetright)

Shares in Carpetright leapt this morning as the floorings and beds specialist revealed a 34 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits in the first half of the year.

The retailer said efforts to win over my customers through its revamped website, stores and better product ranges were bearing fruit, with group revenue rising by 1.4 per cent to £231.2m, and UK like-for-like sales up 3.7 per cent.

This helped drive a jump in underlying profit before tax to £9m from £6.7m last year. The group said it is still on track to meet full-year profit forecasts of £17m to £18m.

Shares rose by 4.5 per cent to 490.00p this morning on the back of the results, which were in line with analyst expectations.

Chief executive Wilf Walsh embarked on a turnaround of the business after taking over the reins from Lord Harris last year. Under his watch, Carpetright has been trying to broaden its appeal by improving its multi-channel offer and opening smaller stores in high street locations.

So far it has opened four of its new and smaller concept stores including one on London’s Clapham High Street. Walsh said it will carry out a customer research study in January before deciding which parts of the trial stores to roll-out across the estate.

The company also gave eight stores a makeover in the period with better lighting and layout to help boost sales. It plans to refit a further 28 stores in the second half.

Five stores were opened and 27 have been shut so far in the year to date, taking its footprint to 438 sites across the UK.

"In a retail market which remains very competitive, we are confident that our plan to build on Carpetright's strong foundations, modernise the business, andensure we capitalise on our advantages as market leader to the full, is on track. Our full year profit expectations remain unchanged," Walsh said.

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