High Street

Carpetright swings to £11.7m loss in H1 results

Embattled retailer Carpetright has reported losses before tax of £11.7m for 26 weeks ending 27 October 2018, compared with the £600,000 loss recorded during the same period last year.

Group revenue decreased by 15.7% to £191.1m, and underlying EBITDA declined by £1.7m, compared with the profit of £8.6m recorded during the same period last year. Carpetright announced in November that trading for half-year update for would be “heavily impacted” by the company’s restructuring, which included 65 store closures.

Like-for-like sales also declined 12.7% over the period but with a marked sequential improvement, with the second quarter down 8.9%. This followed a 16.8% fall in the first quarter, which the group said reflected the “challenges around stock availability, negative sentiment associated with the restructuring process and weak consumer demand.”

In Europe, like-for-like sales increased by 0.5%, which the group said was a “significant improvement” from the decline experienced in the second half of the previous financial year.

CEO Wilf Walsh said: “This is a transitional year for Carpetright as we work through our restructuring plan. We remain on schedule and are confident that this activity is already starting to yield benefits. This is the first stage in returning the group to sustainable long term profitability.”

Earlier this year Carpetright issued a profit warning as total group sales were down by 2.3% and like-for-like sales (which exclude store openings and closures) were down 3.6%. In April the company released a statement saying it had entered a company voluntary agreement (CVA), which would lead to the closure of 92 outlets by September 2018 and potentially affect more than 300 jobs.

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