(Adds detail, background)
LONDON, April 25 Carpetright forecast
full-year profit at the lower end of market expectations on
Tuesday as quarterly sales growth slowed at Britain's largest
floor coverings retailer, adding to evidence of deteriorating UK
Carpetright said sales at UK stores open over a year rose
1.4 percent in the 12 weeks to April 22 - slowing from
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
Shares in Carpetright were down 10 percent in early trade.
Analysts' forecasts for underlying pretax profit for the
year to April 29 range from 13.9 million to 16.2 million pounds
($17.8-$20.7 million), down from 17.3 million a year earlier.
Carpetright's fortunes are tied to the strength of the UK
housing market and the firm is regarded as a useful economic
indicator as traditionally it has been "first in, first out" of
British retail sales posted their biggest quarterly fall in
seven years in the first three months of 2017, hurt by rising
prices since last year's Brexit vote.
Carpetright said like-for-like sales in its Rest of Europe
division (Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland) rose 1.4 percent,
underpinned by a continuing recovery in economic confidence,
particularly in the Netherlands.
($1 = 0.7816 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton and Jason