European carpet and floorcoverings retailer Carpetright plc has announced a trading update on the 13 weeks ending 24th January 2015.
In the UK, Carpetright saw like-for-like sales increase by 7.5%, while total sales increase by 6.6%. The group's full-year guidance – of a decline in gross profit percentage of between 100 and 150 basis points – remains unchanged.
Two stores were closed during the period, leaving 461 trading locations.
Across the rest of Europe, Carpetright saw like-for-like sales in The Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland increase by 1.7%. Total sales declined by 0.8%. After the impact of currency movements, this translates to a 6.0% decrease in total sales.
Wilf Walsh, chief executive, says:“I am pleased to report that the group’s trading performance improved year-on-year during the third quarter. In the UK our continued focus on effective promotional activity and the introduction of an interest-free credit offer from Boxing Day has delivered a like-for-like performance slightly ahead of the level experienced in the first half. Sales in our Rest of Europe business have also continued to improve.
“Trading remains in line with management's expectations and our view for the year as a whole remains unchanged.”
Ken Odeluga, a senior market analyst at www.cityindex.co.uk, comments: "Carpetright joins the slim ranks of retailers who’ve had straight-up sales growth during the winter quarter, but it hasn’t managed to achieve this without help from margin-eroding promos and an interest-free credit offer. Still, it looks like the dicey patch last year, containing several profit warnings, has been laid to rest, with the UK operations that contributed to weak demand at the time showing more than a sign of turning around in Q3.
"All in all, today’s figures leave Carpetright on track to achieve our target of £44m-£45m in sales by year end in June. For a firm that was on the ropes this time a year ago, that’s no mean feat."