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UK's Carpetright returns to underlying sales growth

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UK's Carpetright returns to underlying sales growth
FILE PHOTO: A sign hangs above the door of a Carpetright store in Derby, Britain January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples   -   Copyright  Darren Staples(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest floor coverings retailer Carpetright said its turnaround was on track as it returned to underlying sales growth in its new financial year and reported a narrower loss for 2018-19.

Last year Carpetright’s shareholders backed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring plan to keep the company alive. The plan closed 80 underperforming stores, while 23 were retained on a nil rent basis.

The firm’s shares are down 42% year-on-year.

The group said on Tuesday it made a statutory pretax loss of 24.8 million pounds in the year to April 27, versus a loss of 69.8 million pounds in 2017-18. Revenue fell 13.4% to 386.4 million pounds, with UK like-for-like sales down 9.1%.

However, underlying UK sales in the first eight weeks of Carpetright’s new financial year were ahead by 8.5% and they were up 4.3% in the Rest of Europe division (the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland).

With its legacy property issues addressed, Carpetright said it was on schedule to deliver 19 million pounds of annualised savings as part of the CVA.

“Our work is far from finished, and while economic and political uncertainties cloud the near term outlook for the retail sector, our turnaround plan is very much on track,” said Chief Executive Wilf Walsh.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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