Mention the name of carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright to any dealer in the City and he or she would respond with two words: profit warning. The Essex-based company has issued no fewer than seven consecutive profit warnings over the past year or so and, guess what, another one could be on the way next week. The tightly held shares were yesterday sold down to 679p before closing 28.5p off at 700p as rumours suggested Tuesday’s annual results will feature another warning that trade has deteriorated since April’s dire news.
Carpet King Lord Harris of Peckham recently stepped down as chief executive after 24 years in the top job. It will be therefore left to new boss Darren Shapland to face the music and tell the City what it probably knows already, that the group continues to suffer as a result of the government’s austerity measures and as cash-strapped consumers delay replacing big-ticket items.
Carpetright is also said to be suffering big time in Europe. Record low levels of consumer confidence in the Netherlands and Belgium continue to drag the group down, and analysts will have their red pencils ready to slash their profit forecasts even further on Tuesday.