Friday, September 21, 2018

News: Sales at United Carpets hit by warm weather and World Cup

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Rotherham-based United Carpets, the third largest chain of specialist retail carpet and floor covering stores in the UK, has reported a dip in sales following a satisfactory period of trading in the previous 12 months.

Challenges in the retail market, and within the home furnishings sector in particular, have persisted since the Bramley-based, AIM-listed company restructured its business following a pre-pack administration deal in 2012.

The group uses a franchise model and the board said in its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended March 31 2018, that "recording moderate increases in revenue, level profits and positive like for like sales of 3.2% is therefore a satisfactory outcome for the year."

In an update to the stock exchange, the board reiterated that trading in early summer was difficult due to the exceptionally warm, sunny weather, and the World Cup, "which together had a significant adverse impact on the Company's sales volumes, as they had on the sector as a whole."

This resulted in a modest decline of 1.9% in like for like sales for the 24 weeks ended September 13 2018.

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The firm said that it had carried out increased marketing investment and that further costs had been absorbed during the period in supporting the franchise network and making additional investment in future business developments. It added that this would be reflected in significantly lower profit levels in the first half of the current financial year.

The update, which coincided with the firms' AGM, concluded: "Whilst comparatives for the balance of the year remain challenging, the Board believes the business is well positioned for future trading and is actively pursuing appropriate ways to respond in the second half of this financial year in order to reduce the impact on the full year results.

"In view of the strength of its store portfolio together with the abilities and commitment of the franchisee network, the Board remains confident that the Group will continue to be cash generative, with no borrowings, and able to support its current dividend policy."

United Carpets website

Images: United Carpets

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