Carpetright First-Half Profit Falls on U.K. Demand

Carpetright Plc, the U.K.’s biggest carpet retailer, said first-half profit fell 10 percent as demand in Britain and Ireland declined.

Net income slipped to 7 million pounds ($11 million) for the six months ended Oct. 30, from 7.8 million pounds a year earlier, the Rainham, England-based company said today in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service. Revenue decreased 3.9 percent to 248 million pounds.

Sales in the U.K. and Ireland retreated 2.7 percent to 207.6 million pounds. Britain’s housing market recovery is struggling as consumers prepare for the deepest government spending cuts since World War II. Mortgage approvals fell 4 percent in October from the previous month, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

“The economic and consumer environment remained challenging in the first half,” Chief Executive Officer Philip Harris said in the statement. Sales in the rest of Europe fell 6.9 percent to 40.4 million pounds.

Downgrades

Numis Securities Ltd. analyst Andrew Wade, who has a reduce recommendation for Carpetright, said he was lowering his full- year pretax profit estimate from 26.1 million pounds to 25.1 million pounds following the results.

“I think we’re going to see some small downgrades today,” Wade said in a telephone interview. His target price for the stock is unchanged at 650 pence.

Carpetright fell as much as 5 percent and closed down 1.8 percent to 782 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London. The stock has fallen 17 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 525.7 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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