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Shoppers are in the market for a new sofa and they are coming to buy them at DFS, according the furniture chain which posted a jump in first half profits.

The company, which trades under its eponymous brand as well as Sofa Workshop and Dwell, said it made a pre-tax profit of £16.2m in the six months to 30 January compared with a £14.4m loss a year earlier while gross sales increased by seven per cent to £461.3m.

Chief executive Ian Filby said the “record results” was down to a healthy furniture market and steps it has taken to improve its offer, such as extending its tie-up with exclusive brands such as French Connection, House Beautiful and Country Living.

He said these brands grew by 54 per cent in the period and helped boost volumes at its factories. The retailer introduced its Sofa Workshop ranges of sofas into most DFS stores and placed large video screens on the shop floor for customers to see what their preferred sofa would look like in different fabrics and colours.

It is also hoping to lure in more customers this summer through its support of Team GB’s athletes as official homeware partner for the Rio Olympic Games. “The partnership provides an excellent platform from which to fulfil our vision of taking DFS from being a great British business to a world class business,” Filby said.

Despite the upbeat results, shares closed down five per cent to 308.44p, signalling some profit taking or disappointment that there was no change to its full-year guidance.

“DFS’ stock has held up better than most during the market volatility,” Jefferies analyst Caroline Gulliver, said. “Despite the macro uncertainty we see this as good value and recommend buying.”

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