Carpetright Plc has released its half yearly results, with like-for-likes down 2.9% for the 25 weeks ending October 22.
There was also a decline in gross profit percentage, which was revied to between 150 and 200 bps, which the retailer put down to "a combination of increased sourcing costs resulting from the devaluation of sterling, competitive market conditions and a mix impact."
The period saw one store opening with seven closing, bringing the total number of stores to 429 across the UK. Of these, 49 are now trading under the new brand identity and "delivering sales growth above comparable stores in the rest of the estate."
Said chief executive Wilf Walsh: "Trading conditions in the UK in the first half reflect variable consumer demand and increased competitive pressures. Against this background, our plan to revitalise the UK business remains on track and we are now almost halfway towards our target of 100 store refurbishments in the current financial year, with investment in the first half weighted to the latter part of the period.
“The initial trading performance of these newly refurbished stores has been encouraging - they are outperforming comparable stores in the estate, giving us confidence that where we invest we are able to drive a material improvement in performance.
"In addition, the introduction of new hard flooring sections in 26 stores, has contributed to a 15% increase in laminate/luxury vinyl tile sales. We continue to make progress with our plans to reduce property costs.
“Trading in the Rest of Europe continues to improve and is a little ahead of our expectations. As we enter the second half, we are looking forward to implementing the next phase of our refurbishment and rebranding programme as we continue our drive to update and revitalise the business.
"With the benefit of recent UK investment expected to flow through as the second half progresses, further significant refurbishment work already underway and a continued improvement in the Rest of Europe, our guidance for the year as a whole remains