Carpetright, which owns Storey Carpets, hopes for housing boost

The Northern Echo: Carpetright is hoping for an upturn in fortunes from the housing market Carpetright is hoping for an upturn in fortunes from the housing market

A FLOORING specialist hopes the housing market revival will improve results after a tough half-year saw UK sales fall and profits hit.

Carpetright, which owns Sunderland-based Storey Carpets, says it has yet to feel the benefit of the UK's economic upturn, but said increasing confidence in the housing sector gave it hope for next year.

It said group underlying pre-tax profits fell by a third to £3m in the six months to October 26, as losses across its wider European business negated a 5.8 per cent improvement in UK earnings.

It added the UK's summer heatwave contributed to a 0.8 per cent fall in UK like-for-like sales, with trading since that period remaining unpredictable.

However, its European performance saw its Netherlands division experience an 8.6 per cent fall in like-for-like sales, with its wider European operations, which includes Ireland and Belgium, dropping £1.4m against profits of £200,000 a year earlier.

However, bosses said a raft of self-help measures helped UK underlying profits rise to £5.5m in the first-half of the year, despite the sales fall.

The company, which has Storey stores in Stockton, Bishop Auckland, Durham City, Hartlepool, and Northallerton, North Yorkshire, said sales were flat in its core UK estate, but hoped a delayed boost from the wider recovery in the economy and housing market.

Lord Harris, founder and chief executive, said: “In the past, we have seen a lag of about six months before the impact of a change in the mortgage approval trend has been reflected in our sales.

“While we anticipate trading conditions will remain challenging, we expect our self-help initiatives to underpin an improvement in group performance in the second-half.”


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