Carpetright cheered by home sales

FLOORING retailer Carpetright has welcomed signs of a recovery in the housing market after reporting a sharp rise in profits at its UK business.

The chain, which has 478 stores throughout the UK, said underlying profits in its domestic market soared to £10.9 million in the year to 27 April, up from £2.8m the previous year.

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However, a drop in revenues across the rest of Europe, along with write-downs related to properties and leases, pushed the group to an overall bottom-line loss of £5.1m, compared with a profit of £13.5m in 2012.

Like-for-like revenues in the UK rose 2.2 per cent, but a difficult trading environment in the Netherlands contributed to an 11 per cent drop in European sales.

Chief executive Darren Shapland said mortgage approvals in the UK were showing signs of improvement, “although this is from a very low base and it remains premature to call a wider recovery in the economy”.