Carpetright’s chief executive is interested in buying parts of Allied Carpets, the UK’s second-biggest flooring retailer, which was put up for sale by its French owner late last year.

In a conference call with analysts, Lord Harris of Peckham said he had heard that Allied Carpets could be broken up. 'From our point of view it [a break-up] would be excellent news,' he said. 'Would we be interested in parts of it? Yes.'

His comments came as the fall in Carpetright’s sales slowed in January, inspiring a 12% jump in the flooring retailer’s shares in spite of its gloomy predictions for the year ahead.

Financial Times