Belfast Telegraph

Bed retailer Dreams to remain in Sun’s hands

Dreams booked a 7.2% increase in sales to £300 million in 2017, with pre-tax profits rising by the same amount to £29.2 million.

The chief executive of bed retailer Dreams has said the firm will not be put on the block again until at least 2020 as the firm reported rising full-year sales and profits.

Mike Logue told the Press Association that following an aborted sale process last year, Dreams’ private equity owner Sun Capital Partners has no immediate plans to exit.

“We’ve been through a process and the value wasn’t deemed to be the right value, and I don’t see a sales process for at least a couple of years,” he said.

Sun pulled the plug on the £400 million sale in September and Mr Logue said the distractions associated with the process, which was run by Rothschild, shaved 1% off sales as the company lost focus.

“We were looking at a sale of the business last year and we lost a bit of focus and left about 1% out there. We’ve since regrouped.”

The regrouping led Dreams to book a 7.2% increase in sales to £300 million in 2017, with pre-tax profits rising by the same amount to £29.2 million.

Like-for-like sales at the chain rose for the fourth consecutive year, hitting 3.3%.

But the group has not been immune to the malaise affecting the high street, with its rate of growth slowing compared to 2016.

“The market started to slip in the second half and we were up against very strong comparatives.

“But we’ve beaten the market, which was down 5% for beds and furniture.

“Even in this market, people need to sleep well to do everything else well.”

While a sale of the business is off the cards, Sun is continuing to invest, with Mr Logue aiming to increase the store estate to 220 from today’s 190 over the next two and a half years.

The results come amid a flurry of activity in the mattress sector, with Dreams facing stiff competition from online start-ups such as recently listed Eve and rivals Simba and Casper, which make up part of an increasingly crowded space.

However, Mr Logue insisted that their emergence has “not impacted us in that we are still growing market share”.

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