DFS posts solid half-year results amid “challenging” market

DFS update

DFS has posted a solid preliminary half-year trading update, as efforts to expand its store portfolio and acquire competitors pays off despite “challenging” conditions.

The furniture retailer – which runs the eponymous chain along with Sofa Workshop, Dwell and the recently-acquired Sofology and Multiyork – delivered gross sales growth of four per cent in the 26 weeks to January 27 compared to the same period the year prior.

DFS said gross sales, excluding the sales of Sofology, over the first half of the current financial year were 3.5 per cent lower than the prior year but 3.3 per cent higher when measured over two years.

The acquisition of Sofology was completed on November 30, and over its 2017 calendar year, its gross sales were around 13 per cent higher than in 2016.

DFS added that its online channels, together with developing its Dwell fascia have once again grown strongly within this overall performance.

The company also opened four new DFS showrooms in the UK and one in The Netherlands during the half year, and converted existing leased space within DFS showrooms to accommodate five new Dwell stores and five new Sofa Workshop showrooms.

DFS also completed the acquisition of eight showrooms, the brand and the intellectual property of Multiyork – which fell into administration at the end of 2017 – and plans to convert six of the acquired stores to Sofa Workshop by Easter this year.

With the like-for-like trading momentum strengthening during the first half, DFS expects the second half of its financial year to demonstrate a stronger year-on-year gross sales trend.

“We recognise that the living room furniture retail market is likely to remain challenging in 2018, given current consumer confidence levels,” DFS said in a statement.

“However, with the benefits of strategic investments feeding through, our expectations for the full year are unchanged.”

DFS will publish its interim results on March 28.

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