Carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright has announced an update on trading for the 12 weeks ended 23 April 2016.
LFL UK sales were up 0.7% in the 12-week period and up 2.9% for the financial year to date. Two stores closed during the period, making a total of 35 store closures and nine openings during the year, leaving 434 trading locations. The group’s full-year profit expectations are unchanged.
Wilf Walsh, chief executive, says: “The UK business continued to make progress in the final quarter, against strong comparatives in the prior year and in a market which was increasingly competitive. Against this background, we have delivered two year compound like-for-like sales growth in excess of 10% and, having rebalanced our promotional activity, are pleased to report revised gross margin guidance for the full year of a decline of around 80-100 basis points, an improvement on the previous range.
"Our plan to revitalise the Carpetright brand remains on track. Results from the trial of our new retail concept have been encouraging with the trial stores outperforming comparable stores in the estate. We have now completed our analysis of the customer data from the trial, enabling us to finalise the features of a new store format and brand identity which we will shortly begin to roll-out across our UK business in a phased refurbishment programme. In tandem, we continue to make progress with our efforts to reduce store occupancy costs, with a number of further property deals in the pipeline. We look forward to providing shareholders with a comprehensive update on our strategic plan at the time of our results announcement at the end of June.
"Trading in the Rest of Europe continues in line with our expectations.”