Carpetright sales down as retailer warns sterling collapse will increase costs

Carpetright profits are down.

Carpetright profits are down. - Credit: PA

Carpetright has seen sales slump in the first half of the year as the retailer warned that the collapse in sterling will increase costs.

The group said that stiff competition led to a 2.9% decrease in like-for-like sales in the UK during the period, with boss Wilf Walsh flagging “variable consumer demand”.

Carpetright added that, as a result of “increased sourcing costs resulting from the devaluation of sterling, competitive market conditions and a mix impact”, annual gross profits in the UK are now expected to come in between 1.5% to 2% lower than previously guided.

However, group profit expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

Chief executive Mr Walsh said: “Trading conditions in the UK in the first half reflect variable consumer demand and increased competitive pressures.

“Against this background, our plan to revitalise the UK business remains on track and we are now almost halfway towards our target of 100 store refurbishments in the current financial year, with investment in the first half weighted to the latter part of the period.”

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, the retailer said that the vote could trigger “uncertainty” among shoppers, adding to warnings from the likes of Foxtons, EasyJet and British Airways.