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Carpetright shares surge as it rolls out the first positive results for two years

CARPETRIGHT shares rocketed yesterday after it surprised investors by reporting rising sales for the first quarter of this year.<br /><br />The UK&rsquo;s biggest carpet retailer yesterday closed up 14 per cent to 757p after announcing like-for-like sales had increased by 1.4 percent in the 13 weeks to 1 August, the first rise since the fourth quarter two years ago.<br /><br />The return to growth has stunned analysts who predicted further falls after the group reported a decline of 15.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of the previous financial year.<br /><br />Chief executive and chairman Lord Harris of Peckham said: &ldquo;We have continued to perform well in a tough trading environment and the sales achieved in the first quarter have provided an encouraging start to the financial year.&rdquo;<br /><br />Carpetright, which has been badly hit by the slump in consumer confidence said yesterday group sales had increased by 7.5 per cent in the period.<br /><br />Harris yesterday said that the firm&rsquo;s talks with housebuilders and insurers to attract more business was going well and there was &ldquo;confidence in the future of Carpetright&rdquo;.