The UK’s biggest carpet retailer, Carpetright, laid out better than expected first-half results yesterday, but closed down its loss making operations in Poland.
With more people moving house, underlying profits rose by 58 per cent to £13.9m, with revenues increasing by nine per cent to £258m.
While opening 590 new stores across Britain and Ireland, it exited Poland at a cost of £2.5m. Its overall store base in Europe decreased by 126.
Lord Harris of Peckham,, Carpetright’s chairman and chief executive, said he was pleased with the results and the reduction of net debt by £23.7m to £73.4m. He claimed that business in Holland and Belgium was still strong despite European sales decline.
“We have a good position to capitalise on any improvement in trading conditions. The planned withdrawal from our loss making operation in Poland will improve group profitability,” he said. With overall sales up by 3.9 per cent from -13 per cent last year the group increased the shareholder dividend two-fold to 8p.