Carpetright CEO Wilf Walsh says early trading at its new concept stores has been encouraging as the retailer delivered half year growth against a backdrop of space rationalisation.

Total UK sales in the 25 weeks to 24th October rose 2.5 per cent, Carpetright said, with like-for-likes up 4 per cent against the equivalent period in 2014.

Its increase in sales was achieved despite net store closures, with five new stores opened and 27 closed in the UK during the reviewed period.

Sales in the rest of Europe—comprising Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium—were up 2.7 per cent in local currencies, though declined 6.9 per cent on conversion to sterling.

Wilf Walsh said: “Our aim to revitalise the Carpetright brand is on track. We have made further progress with the strategy of rationalising and repositioning our store portfolio and are encouraged by the early performance of our four trial concept stores in the UK.”