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Annual Results

Carpetright underlying pre-tax profits up

28 June 2016 07:20

Carpetright's underlying profit before tax rose by 33.1% to £17.3m in the 52 weeks to the end of April, in-line with market expectations.

Group revenue decreased by 1.3% to £456.8m (2015: £462.6m, compared to store space reduction of 5.4% associated with rationalisation of the estate. Underlying earnings per share rose 40.9% to 19.3p (2015: 13.7p). Statutory profit before tax rose to £12.8m, an improvement of £6.2m (2015: £6.6m 53 week basis).

In the UK like-for-like sales increased by 2.8%. and underlying operating profit up 17.5% to £16.8m (2015: £14.3m).

The group also reports significant progress in reducing the number of underperforming stores - net 25 closures to reduce the UK estate to 435 stores.

In the Rest of Europe, the group saw like-for-like sales growth of 4.8% and underlying profit of £2.5m, an improvement of £2.2m on the £0.3m delivered in 2015. Store base unchanged at 137, after eight openings and eight closures.

Chief executive Wilf Walsh said: "I am pleased to able to report on another year of significant progress. The Group has again delivered solid growth in profit, accompanied by consistent like-for-like sales growth in both the UK and Rest of Europe, whilst establishing real momentum with its plans to update and revitalise its business.

"Today we're giving a progress update on the range of strategic initiatives that will continue to broaden the appeal of the Carpetright brand and reposition the business, to ensure it is better able to capitalise on its market leadership position. Customer reaction to the initiatives trialled in our four concept stores during the period was overwhelmingly positive and we are excited about the opportunity of extending these to the wider estate commencing on 1 July 2016.

"Trading conditions in the early weeks of the new financial year have been more challenging, against strong comparatives in the prior year and in a market which is increasingly competitive, particularly in the UK. The outlook has been further complicated by the outcome of last week's referendum and we are cautious about the impact the associated uncertainty will have on consumer confidence.

"Whilst we have a long journey ahead in transforming Carpetright, we have a clear direction and are confident that our plans for repositioning the business will yield positive results."

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