United Carpets focusing on cash conservation as stores reopen
Specialist carpet and floor covering retailer United Carpets Group updated the market on its trading on Thursday, reporting that its store network had now completely reopened, with new retail protocols in place to maintain social distancing, alongside increased sanitizing measures to protect customers and staff.
The AIM-traded firm said it expected that it would take time for activity levels to normalise, although early indications had been “encouraging”, and appeared to reflect some initial pent-up demand.
Losses during the period of enforced store closures had been mitigated as far as possible, the board said, with cash conservation the primary focus in order to ensure appropriate liquidity for the group and its franchisees.
The company said it was also in the advanced stages of negotiating additional funding under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and as a result, the board said it believed the business would have sufficient liquidity to meet its requirements going forward during the “extraordinary” crisis period.
With minimum staffing levels focussed on cash management, accessing available support and safely reopening stores, the group also said it had reviewed its reporting timetable.
The board said it decided it would be advantageous to change its accounting reference date, extending the current accounting period from 31 March to 31 September.
United Carpets said the majority of the impact from Covid-19 should be confined within that extended accounting period while, going forward, the new reference date would place the company’s key trading months in the first quarter of each new financial year, enabling greater flexibility in the management of the business for the rest of the financial year.
As a result of the change, United Carpets said the publication of unaudited interim accounts for the 12 months ended 31 March would occur by 31 July while its audited accounts for the 18 months ended 30 September would be no later than 31 March 2021.
“This has been an extraordinary period for all companies and particularly so for the retail sector,” said chief executive officer Paul Eyre.
“As a result of a strong balance sheet and the recent cash conservation strategy, we are confident of meeting our financial commitments and have sufficient funds to continue the recovery of the business over the coming months.”