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Carpetright profit drops 76 pct on weak UK Sales

* FY underlying pretax profit 4 mln stg vs 16.9 mln stg last year

* Total rev down 3 pct to 471.5 mln stg

* UK sales fall 4 pct to 381.6 mln stg

Britain’s biggest floor coverings retailer Carpetright Plc’s full-year underlying profit fell by 76 percent, weighed down by weaker UK sales.

For the full-year ended April 28, underlying profit before tax dropped to 4 million pounds ($6.22 million) from 16.9 million pounds a year earlier.

The company’s UK sales fell about 4 percent to 381.6 million pounds, with like-for-like sales down 0.2 percent.

Total revenue fell 3 percent to 471.5 million pounds.

Carpetright had issued a series profit warnings over the past 18 months as cash-strapped Britons cut back on discretionary spending, and said low consumer confidence continued to hurt the floor coverings market.

Shares in Carpetright, which have fallen 4 percent over the past 12 months, closed at 653.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Monday.

Chairman Lord Harris commented: “The group faced difficult trading conditions leading to a reduction in sales volume, but we remain profitable and continue to generate strong operating cash flows.”

Looking ahead the group said it remains mindful that fragile consumer confidence continues to produce a weak and volatile floor coverings market.

“We are encouraged to see a positive impact from the self-help actions taken during the year, whilst recognising within our plans that economic conditions will remain difficult. The group is well positioned to deliver future profitable sales growth once consumer demand improves,” the company said in a statement.



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