Annual profits plunged by more than 50% at flooring specialist Carpetright, hit by net finance charges, a particularly weak market in the Netherlands and ongoing challenges across all its regions.
Underling profit before tax plunged to £4.6m, from £9.7m a year earlier, pushing earnings per share to 4.7p from 9.6p. Underlying net finance charges were £0.6m higher at £2.3m.
The figure was in line with its most recent guidance, which was significantly adjusted during the company's three profit warnings issued in the past nine months.
Group revenue declined 2.2% from £457.6m to £447.7m, with the UK down 1.5% and the Rest of Europe 5.4% lower. Net debt increased from £10.2m to £11.1m.
The group's shares
have fallen almost 16% in the past year and nearly 13% in the past three months.
The results came as the group confirmed Executive Chairman Lord Harris, who is about to become non-executive Chairman following the appointment of Wilf Walsh as Chief next month, would step down in early September at the annual general meeting. It also said he may remain on the board as a non-executive thereafter.
Harris said: "While indicators point to an overall improvement in UK economic performance over the past 12 months, it has been a challenging time for the group with our markets remaining highly competitive and deal-driven.
"The performance of the business in the Rest of Europe is principally a reflection of the continued difficult trading in the Netherlands. Whilst this business reported a loss for the year, it remained cash generative.
"Against this backdrop, we continue to take steps to develop the business. While we anticipate trading conditions will remain challenging, we expect these actions will underpin an improvement in group performance in the new financial year."
During the year, Carpetright opened 14 stores and closed 20, leaving it with a total of 614.
In the UK, the group's operations have continued to be challenged by a "fragile" consumer environment, in part due to the ongoing pressure on customers' disposable incomes, which resulted in significant sales volatility.
The worst performance was in the Netherlands, where consumer confidence has continued to deteriorate amid "extremely difficult trading conditions" and the floor coverings market remains weak.
The group's stores are undergoing a programme of refurbishment to give them a more updated design in a bid to make them more enticing to shoppers.
Looking ahead, the group anticipates a continuation of the subdued UK retail environment until the recovery is more clearly established. More positively, it reported indications of a slowing of the rate of decline in the Netherlands and an easing of the competitive environment in Belgium.
In the view of Keith Bowman, an Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, Carpetright "has yet to prove that it has turned the corner".
While noting the figures were generally no worse than expected, "on the downside [...] the expected improvement in UK sales, thanks to the more buoyant housing market, has still yet to materialise".
He continued: "In all, and with no in-depth update on current trading, Carpetright has yet to prove that it has turned the corner. Management changes are still being implemented, whilst the valuation is still seen as providing little room for disappointment.
"For now, analyst opinion remains sceptical in tone, currently pointing towards a 'sell'."
Shares climbed 2% to 509p in the first half an hour of trading.