Belfast Telegraph

Carpetright profits floored by fall in pound and sales competition

Profits at Carpetright plummeted in the first half of the year as the retailer warned that the collapse in sterling and "uneven" consumer demand is denting its performance.

The group said pre-tax profits slumped 42% to £4.1 million in the six months to October 29. Revenue also fell 3.8% to £222.3 million, with the group flagging that stiff competition contributed to a 2.9% decrease in like-for-like sales in the UK during the period.

Boss Wilf Walsh said: "We have had a challenging first half - the full impact of the UK decision to leave the EU remains unclear; consumer demand remains uneven; the market is extremely competitive and the impact of currency movements have combined to give us substantial trading headwinds.

"To address these challenges and revitalise the business, we have a programme of activities under way, but these will take time to deliver their full effect."

Carpetright said it has been stung in the rising cost of imported goods following a fall of around 16% in the value of sterling against the US dollar since the Brexit vote.

However, the chief executive said the firm has seen an encouraging start to the second half, with like-for-like sales returning to positive territory.

He added that Carpetright is "comfortable" with market expectations.