June 26, 2018 / 6:44 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK's Carpetright slumps to full-year loss

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LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - Struggling British floor coverings retailer Carpetright reported a loss for 2017-18 on Tuesday and said underlying sales had continued to fall in its new financial year, hit by stock shortages and warm weather.

Carpetright has raised new equity and is closing stores to survive after creditors approved a restructuring plan. Its shares have crashed 81 percent over the last year.

The company made an underlying pretax loss of 8.7 million pounds ($11.6 million) in the year to April 28 - in line with its latest guidance and versus a profit of 14.4 million pounds in 2016-17. Revenue fell 3 percent to 443.8 million pounds.

Earlier this month Carpetright raised 65 million pounds through an equity issue, while in April creditors and shareholders backed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring to close stores and cut jobs.

The firm said 81 UK stores will close by the end of September.

A string of British store groups have either gone out of business or announced plans to close shops this year, as they struggle with subdued consumer spending, rising labour costs, higher business property taxes and growing online competition.

Carpetright said UK like-for-like sales remained negative in the first eight weeks of its 2018-19 year, reflecting disruption due to its restructuring activity, in particular stock shortages as some suppliers had withdrawn supply, and the period of warm weather.

Shares in the retailer closed Monday at 30 pence valuing the business at just 91 million pounds. ($1 = 0.7528 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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