Carpetright restructure bears fruit amid return to sales growth

Carpetright has reported its business turnaround is “on track” amid an “encouraging return to positive like-for-like sales growth”.

The carpet retailer revealed in a trading update for the year ending 27 April 2019, that despite a “challenging first half” with group like-for-like revenues down 12.7%, UK like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks of its new financial year were up 8.5% compared with the previous year.    

The retailer also said as a result of its “tough but necessary action” of its legacy property issues, which saw the closure or lease exits on 92 lossmaking stores last April, it is now on track to deliver £19m of annualised savings.

The group also narrowed its pre-tax losses from £69.8m in 2018 to £24.8m this year. 

Wilf Walsh, chief executive, said: “2018/19 was a transitional year for the business as we took tough but necessary action to address our legacy property issues and restructure the UK store estate. This difficult task was carried out against the backdrop of a challenging trading environment but was essential to put the business back on the path to sustainable profitability.

“From a trading standpoint it was, as expected, a year of two halves, with the first six months reflecting the impact of the CVA implementation, followed by a significant improvement in the second half and, in particular, during Q4. We are pleased to report today that this positive trend has continued into the new year with a return to like-for-like sales growth in the first eight weeks of the period, when UK LFL sales grew by 8.5%.”

He added: “We remain the clear number one player in floorcoverings, having maintained our market leadership during an exceptionally challenging period, and our brand attributes remain strong. Our work is far from finished, and while economic and political uncertainties cloud the near term outlook for the retail sector, our turnaround plan is very much on track.”

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