UK's Carpetright warns on profit again as sales slow

LONDON, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:26am EDT

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Carpetright, Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer, has warned on profit for the third time in almost six months, saying sales have slowed and it has yet to see any boost from an improving housing market.

The firm said on Wednesday it now expects underlying pretax profit for the year to April 26 to be in a range of 3.5-5.5 million pounds ($5.8-$9.1 million), below analysts' consensus forecast of 7.78 million pounds, according to Reuters data.

Carpetright said sales at stores open over a year rose 0.2 percent in the 8 weeks to March 22, below the 1.9 percent recorded in its fiscal third quarter.

Sales on the same basis in its European business fell 5.3 percent, dragged down by tough trading in the Netherlands.

"Whilst our UK like-for-like sales performance was positive in the period, the pace of recovery seen in the third-quarter was not sustained and the group is yet to see any significant benefit from the improvement in UK housing market transactions," the firm said in a statement.

($1 = 0.6059 British Pounds) (Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Mark Potter)