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Carpetright delivers another solid performance
Jul '08
Carpetright plc, Europe's leading specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer today makes its preliminary announcement of its audited results for the 53 weeks ended 3 May 2008.

• Total Group revenue increased by 9.6% to £521.5 million (2007: £475.9 million)

• Revenue increased by 8.3% to £452.7 million (2007: £418.1 million) in the UK and Republic of Ireland (“UK & RoI”) and by 19.0% to £68.8 million (2007: £57.8 million) in the Rest of Europe

• Like-for-like sales decline of 2.7% in the UK & RoI, with a local currency increase of 6.7% in The Netherlands / Belgium

• Gross margin improved to 62.8% (2007: 61.9%) in the UK & RoI

Underlying* Group profit before tax increased by 7.6% to £62.1 million (2007: £57.7 million)

• Reported Group profit before tax £59.5 million (2007: £67.0 million)

• Operating margin in The Netherlands / Belgium over 10% for the first time

Underlying* earnings per share increased by 8.9% to 63.5 pence (2007: 58.3 pence)

• Basic earnings per share 63.2 pence (2007: 68.2 pence)

• Strong cash generation with operating cash flow of £72.7 million

• Net debt at £57.5 million following investment in new cutting and distribution centre and acquisitions

• Store portfolio increased to 675, comprising 559 in the UK & RoI and 116 in the Rest of Europe

• Recommended final dividend of 30.0 pence per share giving a total of 52.0 pence, up 4.0%

* 'Underlying' excludes profits / losses on property disposals and other non-recurring items

Lord Harris of Peckham, Chairman and Chief Executive said: “This year sees the twentieth anniversary of Carpetright. During that time, the Group has grown at a strong pace and this year, despite adverse market conditions, I am pleased to report we have produced yet another solid performance.”

“My fiftieth year of selling carpets has been a challenging one. There is no doubt that the UK floor coverings market became more difficult, in line with other housing and DIY related sectors. This challenge has remained and I believe that the next year will be one of the most difficult I have seen. However, against this background, we are continuing to invest for the future. Carpetright is well placed to weather this period with its strong competitive position, clear UK and European strategic plans, and continued focus on margin growth and strong cash generation.”

Carpetright plc
Carpetright plc is Europe's leading specialist carpet and floor covering retailer trading from over 500 stores and concessions in the UK and Republic of Ireland, as well as over 100 stores across Holland, Belgium and Poland.

Carpetright plc

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