Carpetright reports 137% profit growth but flags up post-referendum uncertainty
Carpetright today unveiled a 137% rise in annual profits – but its chief executive said prospects for the year ahead were uncertain following the EU referendum.
The multichannel carpets-to-beds retailer, a Top150 company in IRUK Top500
research, set out what it was doing to make buying its products an "enjoyable and hassle-free experience," through areas including a "compelling digital offer", regular email and text updates for customers, and improved communications with customers.
Up to now it has focused on the look and feel of the website to inspire customers as well as help them navigate their research. Now, said Carpetright, it will rebrand the website, introduce a 'where's my stuff' customer order tracker and 'my account' section, improve site search and introduce a room visualiser tool.
The update came as pre-tax profits rose by £6.2m to £12.8m, but group revenue of £456.8m in the year to April 30 was 1.3% down compared to last year, following resizing to the store estate in the light of online.
In the UK, where 20 stores were closed, taking it to a total of 435 shops, like-for-like sales were up by 2.8%.
Chief executive Wilf Walsh set out the company's strategy as it looks to capitalise on a market leading position, transforming the company as it looks for growth. It is "reengineering" every aspect of the business as it looks to update and revitalise the Carpetright proposition – with a vision of connecting better with today's customer.
He said that while the last year had been one of "significant progress" trading conditions in the new financial year had been more challenging in an increasingly competitive market. "The outlook has been further complicated by the outcome of last week's referendum and we are cautious about the impact the associated uncertainty will have on consumer confidence."
The company said customer reaction to its four new concept stores had been "overwhelmingly positive" and that it would now roll these out further, starting from Friday.