Carpetright shares drop 8% after profit warningContinue reading the main story
Floor coverings retailer Carpetright has warned that its annual profits will be lower than forecast after sales were hit by poor weather and weak consumer confidence.
Like-for-like sales, which ignore store openings and closures, fell 7.7% in the 13 weeks to 29 January in the UK and Irish Republic.
Carpetright said annual profits would be lower than current hopes of £26m.
The company's shares were down 8% in early trading.
Carpetright's chairman and chief executive, Lord Harris of Peckham, said: "Although we have achieved an increase in sales year on year since Christmas, this has not been at the level expected."
The company has been hit by a combination of factors.
Spending on high-value items for the home have been affected by a sluggish mortgage market and the poor availability of household credit, as well as the increase in VAT this year to 20%.
Lord Harris added that the business remained well placed to capitalise on opportunities when economic conditions improved.
Carpetright has 574 outlets in the UK and Irish Republic, and a further 120 in the Netherlands and Belgium.