April 25, 2017 / 6:31 AM / 7 months ago

UK's Carpetright nudges profit forecast down as market deteriorates

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - 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 current range.”

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)

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