Carpetright has published its H2 results, covering the 26 weeks ended 28th October 2017, citing reduced bed sales, yet "significant progress" made in its core UK flooring business.
In the UK, LFL sales increased by +0.7%, with "solid growth" of +1.9% in the core flooring categories, offset in part by reduced bed sales, which Carpetright says were impacted by the clearance of discontinued lines as the entire range was changed.
Underlying operating profit was £3.6m (Down from £4.9m in H1 FY 2017) reflecting the impact of that bed clearance and higher store payroll costs.
Current trading is decribed as "encouraging", with LFL sales up +1.4% in the six weeks to 9th December.
Wilf Walsh, chief executive, says: “The first half has undoubtedly been challenging. Consumer confidence remains fragile and we continue to manage the impact of intensified competition. We have made pleasing progress in our core flooring business in the UK - LFL sales are up, more than half the UK store estate has now been refurbished and our customer service metrics have been improved significantly. However, as previously flagged, our H1 profits reflect the impact of the clearance of discontinued lines in our beds business and also unsuccessful deeper discounting promotions in the Netherlands and Belgium, which are now being addressed.
“Looking ahead we will be focused on maintaining sales momentum in UK flooring, capitalising on the much stronger new range to turn around our beds performance and improving overall trading in the Netherlands and Belgium. While trading over the first six weeks of the new period has been encouraging, with an acceleration in LFL sales growth in both the UK and Rest of Europe, in light of the consumer outlook we are taking a more cautious view of the second half and now expect underlying profit before tax for the full year will be towards the bottom end of the current range of market expectations.”