Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News: Better than expected trading at United Carpets

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Rotherham-based United Carpets, the UK's largest franchised carpet retailer, has reported that trading in the second half of the current financial year has been better than expected.

In a trading update, the Bramley-based business reported that like for like sales for the 21 weeks of the second half to date are up 5.4% compared to the same period last year.

In August 2012, United Carpets had its shares temporarily suspended after admitting it would not be able to publish its full-year results on time. In October 2012, a pre-pack administration deal saw United Carpets Group acquire the business and assets of its trading subsidiary United Carpets (Northern) Limited.

The firm was readmitted to the AIM stock exchange last year after delivering its delayed final results for the period ended October 5 2012.

United Carpets has reduced the number of stores from a peak of 86 to 59; removing stores from the network which had been consistently underperforming and were threatening to undermine the stability of the business.

The group now operates from 48 franchised stores and 11 corporate stores which the company says have responded well to the changes and are showing the benefits of the restructuring, particularly in the last few months.

The board added that it believes there has been a slight improvement in confidence amongst consumers but that the overall market still remains very challenging. Consequently, the board now expect its final results for the year ended March 31 2014 to be "materially better than market expectations."

Paul Eyre, chief executive of United Carpets, said: "We have been encouraged with trading in the early part of this calendar year which will flow through to better than expected year end numbers. The changes we have made have transformed our business and with the economy as a whole appearing to move in the right direction, I am increasingly optimistic about the future."

United Carpets website

Images: United Carpets

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