Belfast Telegraph

Carpetright bugged by latest profit downgrade

By Graeme Evans

The downward spiral in profits at Carpetright continued yesterday after the retailer warned its markets remained "weak and volatile".

The group made £16.9m in its previous financial year but now estimates underlying profits for the year to April 28 will be in the region of £3m and £4m - below City forecasts of £7m.

Carpetright, which has 491 stores in the UK, blamed weaker than expected sales of bed ranges and a deterioration in trading in the Netherlands and Belgium for the latest downgrade.

Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said a return to like-for-like sales growth in its core UK business over the 11 weeks to April 14 offered some hope for the new financial year.

However, he added: "The fragile confidence of our customers continues to produce a weak and volatile floorcoverings market."

Shares fell 5% as it emerged the group's sales were down 4.3% over the financial year.

Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George said it appeared the chain was focused on price rather than value for money and service.

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