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Sales drop at Carpetright
Aug '10
Carpetright plc, Europe's leading specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer, announces a trading update for the 13 weeks ended 31 July 2010, being the first quarter of its current financial year.


• Group sales declined by 2.5%, with the year on year effect of closing our operations in Poland accounting for 0.6 % of this decline.
• The Group's store base increased by one to 7042 stores at the period end.
• UK and Republic of Ireland sales declined by 0.9%, with like-for-like sales3 down 3.4%. A net two stores have been opened, increasing the total to 5882.
• In constant currency terms, Rest of Europe (The Netherlands and Belgium) total sales decreased by 3.3% with like-for-like sales down 4.2%. After allowing for the movement in exchange rates, this translates to a total sales decline of 6.2%. One store has closed, reducing the total to 116.

Lord Harris of Peckham, Chairman and Chief Executive, said:
“As announced previously, we had expected consumer demand across Europe to remain subdued as we entered our new financial year, and this view is reflected in the update announced.

“We remain cautious about the outlook for consumer spending for the balance of the year and as a consequence continue to manage the business by exerting tight control over all costs, capital expenditure, stock and cashflow. Gross margins in the UK are up on previous year largely a result of managing promotional activity.

“Our focus on strong value-led retail brands will enable the Group to capitalise on its market leading positions in its geographical markets when economic conditions improve.”

The Group will report its pre-close trading update for the first half of its financial year on 27 October 2010.

Carpetright plc is Europe's leading specialist floor covering retailer, selling a wide range of carpets, rugs, vinyls and laminates together with associated accessories. In addition, the product offering was extended to selling beds in the UK following the acquisition of Sleepright in December 2008.

Carpetright plc

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