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Floorings firm Carpetright rolls out profits of £6.6m

By Roger Baird

Floorings firm Carpetright returned to bottom line profit for the first time in three years on the back of a recovery in UK sales and a turnaround at its continental stores.

The Essex-based firm, which has 460 UK shops, posted statutory pre-tax profits of £6.6m in the 53 weeks to May 2, against a loss of £7.2m.

Underlying pre-tax profits jumped almost three times to £13m as the group put a series of profit warnings behind it. Shares lifted 5%.

It said in the UK like-for-like sales jumped 7.3% from falling 0.2% the previous year in its best sales performance for five years, leading underlying operating profits to lift by a third to £14.3m.

The retailer, under chief executive Wilf Walsh, has focused on a more contemporary market, and has kept discount levels under tight review while also introducing interest free credit to the business on Boxing Day.

Carpetright has launched a trial of smaller high street stores, which will feature a sample-only premium product, and has emphasised the importance of the internet for driving customers into its shops.

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