Belfast Telegraph

DFS Furniture enjoys record results amid boosted sales

By Holly Williams

Sofa chain DFS Furniture has hailed a record set of results as the improving housing market and growing consumer confidence boosted sales.

In its first set of annual results since returning to the stock market in March, DFS posted an 8.4% hike in underlying earnings to £89.2m for the year to August 1 after total sales lifted 7%.

The Doncaster-based business - which has more than 100 stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, including two in Northern Ireland - said sales growth slowed slightly in the final six months as it came up against strong comparatives from a year earlier.

But it said there was strong demand for "big ticket" items, spurred on by increasing numbers of house moves and as consumers have been boosted by cheap credit and low inflation. Sales have also been helped by new store openings as DFS added another six in the UK and Ireland, while also growing its Dwell and Sofa Workshop brands.

On a bottom line basis, pre-tax profits nearly trebled to £10.7m from £3.6m a year earlier.

Chairman Richard Baker said there were "still substantial further potential opportunities" as it looks to expand further in the UK and the Netherlands, while also rolling out smaller stores. The group added there was strong potential to keep growing as the furniture market remains around 20% below its peak before the financial crisis.

DFS, which has more than 3,500 staff, was valued at over £540m when it floated in the spring and shares have since risen by more than a fifth.

Shares were up another 3% after the annual figures.

Analysts at Jefferies said the results "reassure DFS can deliver growth on several fronts".

DFS said orders of its exclusive branded ranges leapt by 75% while online sales rose 17%.

Belfast Telegraph