United Carpets sees profit soar but slowdown looming

 
City A.M. Reporter
UNITED Carpets’ pre-tax profits surged by 84.5 per cent to £1.1m in the year to 31 March.

However, trading has weakened with like-for-like sales in carpets falling 2.6 per cent in the past 17 weeks.

The retailer said it was affected by “the World Cup, the general election and subsequent Budget which together have made for an exceptionally tough trading period”.

In the full year, revenue grew 2.5 per cent to £27.5m. Network sales, which include the retailers’ franchised stores, increased 7.4 per cent to £69.9m. Gross margin increased from 64.0 per cent to 66.2 per cent reflecting the “increased proportion of franchise related income to total revenue”.

United Carpets said it “continued to differentiate the United Carpets offer through a series of planned advertising campaigns” in the full year period. The 82-store retailer opened two new shops in the period.

Chief executive Paul Eyre said: “Sales of flooring and beds remained stable during the period under review which resulted in a good performance for the year.”

Eyre added: “However, the market environment remains challenging, with little improvement in volume across the housing market.”