Carpetright says 2011 will still be tough

CARPETRIGHT said yesterday like-for-like sales over the last three months have fallen because of continuing tough market conditions – and warned of a difficult 2011 ahead.

Group sales dropped by 5.2 per cent in the twelve weeks to 23 October compared to the previous period, with 0.5 per cent of the downturn attributable to the closure of its operations in Poland.

Like-for-like sales in Britain and Ireland were down 7.3 per cent at the UK’s biggest floor coverings company.

Across the group, sales were down 3.7 per cent after a 1.7 per cent drop in like-for-like sales in Belgium and the Netherlands when measured in local currency.

Shares in the company closed 7.5 per cent lower at 675.5p after the bleak announcement. Chief executive Philip Harris said: “The further reduction in mortgage approvals along with fragile consumer confidence has produced a difficult market. We expect these market conditions to continue into 2011.”