DFS reports strong first half

DFS CEO Ian Filby reports a strong first half
DFS CEO Ian Filby reports a strong first half

​Sofa specialist DFS reported good sales growth ​in its first half​, reflecting buoyant demand for new furniture as household finances improve.

The Doncaster-based firm said the furniture market is healthy​ and gross sales growth in the ​half year to January ​30 rose seven per cent, an improvement on the five per cent growth in the year to January 30.

Chief executive Ian Filby said sub brands Sofa Workshop​ and​ Dwell ​put in a good performance while its start up​, DFS Netherlands​, also made an encouraging contribution to sales growth.

​"​The results reflect the continued implementation of a proven growth strategy, building on the ​g​roup's established market leadership to further broaden product and brand appeal​," he said.

The group is rolling out new stores in the UK and overseas​ and is building up its online presence.

​"Given broadly stable general macro-economic trends in the UK and all strategic initiatives on track, the board believes that the group is in a strong position to sustain its record of sales growth, market share capture and cash generation," said Mr Filby.

​He added that ​​b​ased on the trading performance over the first half, expectations for the full year ​performance ​remain unchanged.

​"The group enjoys excellent prospects to deliver long-term profitable growth, strong cash generation and a progressive dividend policy as one of the UK's best-known brands, a major British manufacturer and the country's leading retailer of upholstered furniture​," he said.​​

​DFS said that finance director ​Bill Barnes has decided to retire in the summer after almost 13 years with the group. Nicola Bancroft, who is currently commercial finance director, will become chief financial officer and an executive director from August 1.

The group said that Mr Barnes and Ms Bancroft have worked closely together for over three years and will complete a smooth handover of responsibilities over the next six months.