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Business News

Carpetright's turnaround floored as profit and revenue fell in the first half


Tough conditions in Europe muted the modest success of Carpetright’s “self-help” efforts in the UK, as profit and revenue fell in the first half.

The results follow the surprise departure of chief executive Darren Shapland in October, who left after warning that full-year profits would be “significantly below expectations”.

Carpetright’s founder Lord Harris of Peckham was forced to come out of retirement to take the helm.

Despite the poor headline figures, the carpeting chain saw a modest increase in UK underling profits, up 5.8 per cent to £5.5 million.

Finance director Neil Page said: “We’ve had good growth from our store re-furbs, our new lines of flooring and laminates, and beds have also been going strongly.

“Good progress in the UK has been offset by difficult trading in the Netherlands"

Carpetright’s European operations fell to a loss of £1.4 million in the 26 weeks to 26 October.

Lord Harris was upbeat about the period ahead, saying the uptick in the housing market would likely boost sales.

“In the past, we have seen a lag of around six months before the impact of a change in the mortgage approval trend has been reflected in our sales,” he said.

Lord Harris declined to comment on whether the business was searching for a new chief executive, saying he was working with chief operating officer Graham Harris to run the business.

Management also declined to comment on an Office of Fair Trade investigation into “misleading” sales practices at the chain, but confirmed it was on-going.

Carpetright shares were up 7p to 539.5p.