The chairman of franchise flooring and beds retailer United Carpets Group says work to streamline its store network has left it well placed to tackle the market downturn.


Peter Cowgill warned half year profits to end September would be likely lower with like-for-likes having dipped 1.6 percent in the first 16 weeks of the current period.

But he added that paring back store numbers in recent years had left it with a well-located network with competitive rents, saying the group had no debt and was well placed to compete.

His comments came as United reported flat profits of £1.28 million on revenue up 2.5 percent to £21.7 million in the year to end March.

Total network sales were undisclosed but are higher than that corporate revenue figure, with 50 of the company's 58 stores operated by franchisees. Like-for-like sales were up 3.2 percent over the period, with both flooring and beds — worth under 10 percent of sales — trending up at the same rate.

It ended the period with cash and equivalents unchanged at £2.6 million.