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2014-07-29_Interim management statement

Embargoed until 7am, 29 July 2014
 
 
29 July 2014
Carpetright plc
 
Interim Management Statement
 
Carpetright plc, Europe’s leading specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer, today announces an update on trading for the 13 weeks ended 26 July 2014.
 
Highlights
·         UK
o   Like-for-like sales (note 2) in the UK increased by 6.1%. Total sales increased by 5.2%.
o   Reduction in gross profit percentage of 260 basis points in the period, with revised guidance of a decline for the full year of between 50 and 100 basis points.
o   During the period, four stores were opened and nine closed giving a net reduction of five. There are now 467 stores trading, of which 283 have now been modernised.
 
·         Rest of Europe
o   In local currency terms, like-for-like sales in the Rest of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland) decreased by 3.6%.  Total sales declined by 3.9%. After the impact of currency movements this translates to a 10.1% decrease in total sales.
o   Increase in gross profit percentage in line with previous guidance of around 250 basis points for the full year.
 
·         Wilf Walsh joined the Board as Chief Executive with effect from 21 July 2014, at which point Lord Harris became non-executive Chairman.
 
 
The UK business saw small but steady improvements in sales growth during May and June, with this trend accelerating significantly during July, assisted by weak comparatives in 2013 when sales were impacted by a prolonged period of hot weather. Over the period, gross profit margins have decreased by 260 basis points, a consequence of implementing market beating promotions. 
 
Sales across our Rest of Europe business units have shown signs of improvement on the recent trend, with a reduction in the rate of decline. Gross profit margin was in line with previous guidance of an increase of around 250 basis points for the full year, resulting principally from improved sourcing and operational disciplines. On the back of this activity, it is encouraging to report that our businesses in the Netherlands and Belgium have returned to profit in the first quarter of the financial year.
 
Notwithstanding the continued tough trading conditions, our expectations for the current year are unchanged.



 
The Group will report its pre-close trading update for the first half of its financial year on 14 October 2014.
 
 
Analyst conference call
Carpetright will host a conference call for analysts at 08:30 BST today.
 
The dial in number is +44 (0) 20 3003 2666 with the passcode ‘Carpetright’.
 
Thereafter, for further enquiries please contact:
 
Carpetright plc
Neil Page, Group Finance Director
Tel: 01708 802000
 
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Kevin Smith / Jos Bieneman
Tel: 020 7638 9571
 
A copy of this trading statement will be available on our website www.carpetright.plc.uk today from 7.00am.
 
 
Notes
1.       All sales figures are quoted after deducting VAT.
2.       Like-for-like sales calculated as this year’s net sales compared to last year’s net sales for all stores that are at least 12 months old at the beginning of our financial year. Stores closed during the year are excluded from both years. No account is taken of changes to store size or introduction of third party concessions. Sales from insurance and house building contracts are supplied through the stores and included in their figures.
3.       There have been no significant changes to the Group’s financial position during the period.
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
Appendix 1: Group Sales
 

 
Current Financial Year
Previous Financial Year
 
13 weeks to
26 July
 2014
12 weeks to 20 July
2013
(previously reported)
52 weeks to
28 April
2014
(previously reported)
UK
 
 
 
-   Total
5.2%
(3.3%)
(1.5%)
-   Like-for-like
6.1%
(1.9%)
(0.2%)
 
Rest of Europe
 
 
 
-   Total (in local ccy)
(3.9%)
(10.9%)
(8.6%)
-   Like-for-like (in local ccy)
(3.6%)
(10.6%)
(8.6%)
-   Total (in GBP)
 
(10.1%)
(4.4%)
(5.4%)
 
Group Sales (in GBP)
 
 
2.5%
 
(3.5%)
 
(2.2%)

 
 
Appendix 2: Store portfolio
 

 
Current Financial Year
Previous Financial Year
Store portfolio
26 July 2014
20 July 2013
(previously reported)
28 April 2014
(previously reported)
 
Stores
Sq ft
Stores
Sq ft
Stores
Sq ft
UK
 
 
 
 
 
 
Standalone
456
4,028
457
4,064
457
4,039
Concessions
11
19
16
29
15
27
Total
467
4,047
473
4,093
472
4,066
Europe
 
 
 
 
 
 
Republic of Ireland
22
162
21
155
22
162
Netherlands
94
1,091
95
1,104
95
1,104
Belgium
25
298
26
307
25
298
Total
141
1,551
142
1,566
142
1,564
 
Total Group
 
 
608
 
5,598
 
615
 
5,659
 
614
 
5,630

 

2014-06-24_Preliminary Results Announcement

Embargoed until 7am, 24 June 2014
 
 
Carpetright plc
Preliminary Results Announcement for the 52 weeks ended 26 April 2014
 
Carpetright plc, Europe’s leading specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer, today announces its preliminary results for the 52 week trading period ended 26 April 2014.
 
 
Group Financial Summary
 

 
2014
£m
2013
£m
Change
Group revenue (Note 1)
447.7
457.6
(2.2%)
·         UK
375.8
381.6
(1.5%)
·         Rest of Europe
71.9
76.0
(5.4%)
 
 
 
 
Underlying operating profit/(loss) (Note 2)
6.9
11.4
(39.5%)
·         UK
10.7
10.9
(1.8%)
·         Rest of Europe
(3.8)
0.5
 
 
 
 
 
Underlying profit before tax (Note 2)
4.6
9.7
(52.6%)
Underlying earnings per share
4.7p
9.6p
(51.0%)
 
 
 
 
Exceptional items (Note 4)
(11.8)
(14.8)
 
Statutory loss before tax
(7.2)
(5.1)
 
Basic loss per share
(5.3p)
(9.8p)
 
 
 
 
 
Net debt
11.1
10.2
Up £0.9m
Dividend per share
Nil
Nil
 

 
 
Highlights
 
UK
      Like-for-like revenues declined by 0.2%. Excluding the expected contraction in sales from the wholesale business, the core retail business like-for-like grew by 0.5%.
      Gross profit percentage increased by 100 basis points to 62.5% (2013: 61.5%).
      89 stores refurbished in the period taking the total to 275 stores, representing 58% of the trading estate.
      Store base reduced by a net six during the year to 472 stores.
 



 
Rest of Europe
      Revenue in local currency, declined by 8.6% with like-for-like sales down by 8.6%.
      Difficult trading conditions in the Netherlands, where the floor coverings market remains weak. 
      Number of stores remains unchanged at 142, having opened one and closed one store during the period.
 
Exceptional charges of £11.8m related to a combination of net losses on disposal of properties, onerous lease provisions and non-cash impairment of property assets.
 
Board succession plans confirmed – Wilf Walsh to join as CEO on 21 July 2014, at which point Lord Harris will become non-executive Chairman.
 
Commenting on the results Lord Harris, Executive Chairman, said:
 
“While indicators point to an overall improvement in UK economic performance over the past twelve months, it has been a challenging time for the Group with our markets remaining highly competitive and deal-driven.
 
“The performance of the business in the Rest of Europe is principally a reflection of the continued difficult trading in the Netherlands. Whilst this business reported a loss for the year, it remained cash generative.
 
“Against this backdrop, we continue to take steps to develop the business. While we anticipate trading conditions will remain challenging, we expect these actions will underpin an improvement in Group performance in the new financial year.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Notes
1.       All sales figures are quoted after deducting VAT.
2.       ‘Underlying’ excludes exceptional items, related tax and an exceptional tax credit.
3.       Like-for-like sales calculated as this year’s net sales compared to last year’s net sales for all stores that are at least 12 months old at the beginning of our financial year. Stores closed during the year are excluded from both years. No account is taken of changes to store size or introduction of third party concessions. Sales from insurance and house building contracts are supplied through the stores and included in their figures.
4.       Exceptional items comprises, net losses on disposal of properties of £1.6m; onerous lease provisions of £6.6m; non-cash impairment of freehold property assets of £1.9m; impairment of other assets of £0.5m; and restructuring costs of £1.2m.
5.       Comparative period for the year is the 52 week period ended 27 April 2013.

2014-06-24_Board Changes

Embargoed until 07:00 24 June 2014
 
Carpetright plc
(“Carpetright” or “the Company”)
 
Board Changes
 
Further to its announcement of 21 May 2014, Carpetright announces that Lord Harris will remain as non-executive Chairman of the Company following the Annual General Meeting on 4 September.  He will continue in this role until such time as a new Chairman has been appointed and may remain on the Board in a non-executive capacity following the appointment of a new Chairman.
 
Baroness Noakes is continuing to lead the search for a new Chairman and will step down from the Board once this appointment has been made.
 
As part of this transition process, Baroness Noakes is stepping down from the Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee and Customer and Corporate Responsibility Committee with immediate effect.
 
Andrew Page has been appointed to the Audit Committee with immediate effect.
 
In addition Alan Dickinson has notified the Company that he will not seek re-election at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 4 September 2014 and will retire from the Board on conclusion of the meeting.
 
-Ends-
 
 
For further enquiries please contact:
 

Carpetright plc
Tel: 01708 802000
Lord Harris, Executive Chairman
 
Neil Page, Group Finance Director
 
 
 
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7638 9571
Kevin Smith / Lindsay Noton
 

 
 

2014-05-21_Management succession and Board changes

Carpetright plc
(“Carpetright” or “the Company”)
 
Management Succession Plan & Board Changes
 
Carpetright, Europe's leading specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer, announces that it has appointed Wilf Walsh to the Board as Chief Executive with effect from 21 July 2014. Mr Walsh’s career includes 20 years of consumer/retail experience including eight years as Managing Director of Coral and six years at HMV.  Most recently he has been chairman of Fortuna Entertainment Group NV, a listed betting and gaming group operating in Central Europe.
 
Lord Harris of Peckham, currently Executive Chairman, will become non-executive Chairman of Carpetright from 21 July 2014 and will then retire from the Board at the conclusion of Company’s Annual General Meeting on 4 September 2014.  Lord Harris will remain available to Wilf Walsh in an advisory capacity thereafter, following his retirement from the Board.  
 
A search for a new Chairman will now commence. If this search has not been concluded by the time of the AGM, Baroness Noakes, currently Deputy Chairman of Carpetright, will become Interim Chairman until such time as a permanent appointment is made.
 
Lord Harris said: “I will be 72 this year and shareholders will be aware that I have been planning a managed hand-over of my responsibilities for some time. I am delighted that Wilf Walsh has agreed to join Carpetright as Chief Executive. He has strong retail and online credentials and a successful track record in managing multi-site consumer-facing businesses. I am confident that I will be leaving the business in safe hands.”
 
Wilf Walsh said: “Carpetright is a great brand and I am looking forward to working with the team to drive profitability and share going forward. Lord Harris has 56 years in the carpet business and will be a hard act to follow but the market-leading position he has built for the business is an excellent place from which to start.”
 
The following management changes are also being announced today:
 
·         Martin Harris, who joined Carpetright in 1991 and has been on the Board since 1997, latterly as its Group Development Director, has informed the Board that he will step down from his post and the Board at the conclusion of the AGM on 4 September 2014 and will leave the Company to pursue other business opportunities.
  
·         Graham Harris, who was appointed to the Board in October 2013 as its Chief Operating Officer, has left the Company with immediate effect as this role has become redundant given the appointment of the new Chief Executive.
 
Wilf Walsh is currently a director of Fortuna Entertainment Group NV and will be retiring from this post at the AGM on 6 June 2014. Other than this directorship no other information is required to be disclosed pursuant to paragraph LR 9.6.13 of the Listing Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to his appointment of as a Director of Carpetright.
 
 



 
For further enquiries please contact:
 

Carpetright plc
Tel: 01708 802000
Lord Harris, Executive Chairman
Baroness Noakes, Deputy Chairman
 
Neil Page, Group Finance Director
 
 
 
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7638 9571
Kevin Smith / Lindsay Noton
 

 
 
 
A copy of this announcement is available on our website www.carpetright.plc.uk.
 
 
Notes to Editors
 
Wilf Walsh – Career Biography
 
2009 – Present                 Fortuna Entertainment Group NV
2012 – Present   Chairman
2011 – 2012         Vice Chairman and Interim CEO
2009 – 2012         Vice Chairman and Head of Strategy
 
2000 – Present                 Gala Coral Group
2010 – Present   Non-Executive Director
2000 – 2008         Managing Director, Coral
 
1994 – 2000                         HMV Media Group
Managing Director, HMV Germany
Operations Director, HMV UK and Ireland
Personnel Director, HMV UK and Ireland
 
1991 – 1994                         Pepsi Cola International
 
1986 – 1991                         Scholl Consumer Products