Carpetright has reported a 9.6% increase in total sales (3.9% on a like-for-like basis) for the six months to the end of October; its strongest half-year sales for five years.
Total group revenue for the period was £258m. Pre-tax profits also increased, showing a jump of almost 16% to £11m. The improved performance has been attributed to a recovery in the housing market, combined with the effect of the demise of its largest rival Allied Carpets.
Carpetright chairman and ceo Lord Harris of Peckham said of the results: "We are pleased with this significantly improved first half performance, which clearly demonstrates the strength of the Group. The improved profit and reduction in net debt [reduced by £23.7m in the period] provide a firm base for the continued growth of our business."
Looking forward he added: "while we remain cautious about the retail market in the balance of the financial year and through 2010, we have made a good start to the second half, with the added potential of more insurance and housebuilder business to come. Consequently, the board has confidence the group is well positioned to make further progress."
Store numbers grew from 567 to 590 in the half year.