LONDON Dec 10 Carpetright, Britain's
biggest floor coverings retailer, said it expected a better
performance in the second half of the year after posting a drop
in first-half profit in tough markets at home and in the
The firm had warned on year profit in October, blaming a
softer market in Britain and a further deterioration in the
Carpetright said on Tuesday it made a pretax profit of 3.0
million pounds ($4.9 million) in the six months to Oct. 26, down
from 4.5 million pounds in the same period last year.
Group revenue fell 2.2 percent to 222.2 million pounds, with
sales at UK stores open over a year down 0.8 percent and
like-for-like sales in the rest of Europe division (Netherlands,
Belgium and Ireland) slumping 8.6 percent.
The firm trades from 474 UK stores and 142 in the rest of
"Against a backdrop of volatile trading conditions, our
first half performance reflects an improvement in profits in the
UK, driven by the continued success of our self-help
initiatives, offset by a move into loss in our rest of Europe
business," said founder, chairman and major shareholder Philip
Harris, 71, resumed a full-time executive role with
Carpetright in October, when the firm parted company with its
Chief Executive Darren Shapland.
Though he anticipated trading conditions would remain
challenging he forecast an improvement in group performance in
the second half, noting encouraging data in mortgage approvals,
and said expectations for the year as a whole were unchanged.
Shares in Carpetright, which have fallen 22 percent so far
this year, closed Monday at 532.5 pence, valuing the business at
358 million pounds.