LONDON, April 25 Britain's biggest floor
coverings retailer Carpetright forecast full-year
profit at the lower end of market expectations as sales growth
slowed in its fourth quarter, adding to evidence that UK
consumer confidence is deteriorating.
Carpetright, whose fortunes are closely tied to the strength
of the housing market, said on Tuesday sales at UK stores open
over a year rose 1.4 percent in the 12 weeks to April 22.
That compares to third quarter growth of 1.9 percent.
"In common with other retailers in the home improvement
sector in the UK we have experienced tougher trading conditions
over the last three months," said Chief Executive Wilf Walsh.
"Whilst we remain confident in our turnaround plan, the
level of sales growth in our final quarter leads us to expect
that full-year profits will be towards the lower end of the
Prior to Tuesday's update analysts' average forecast for the
year to April 29 was for an underlying profit before tax of 15.2
million pounds ($19.5 million), down from 17.3 million pounds in
the previous year.
Like-for-like sales in Carpetright's Rest of Europe division
(the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland) rose 1.4 percent.
($1 = 0.7813 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)