DFS grows sofa sales amid tough market

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SOFA chain DFS said first quarter sales and earnings grew as it makes progress amid a tough consumer climate.

It has increased UK manufacturing, adding another shift at a factory in Derbyshire, and added its new stores are performing well.

The Doncaster-based group said it increased earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 17.2 per cent to £10.2m in the 13 weeks to the end of October.

Sales grew 12.3 per cent year-on-year to £144m. DFS is opening its second store outside the UK in Cork, Ireland, part of plans to create 200 jobs this year.

Chief executive Ian Filby said: “A good result for the first quarter of 2012/13 continues the positive performance of last year’s second half. Sales have increased by a healthy 12.3 per cent, reflecting both an underlying improvement against the relatively weak first quarter last year and the growing contribution from our successful new store opening programme.

“Our store opening programme is firmly on track, while we are simultaneously enhancing our successful and growing online business to offer a fully multi-channel experience including our sofa and room planning app. We opened a new store in Stockport during the first quarter and have since opened a further new store in Stirling, while our second store in the Republic of Ireland will open at Cork tomorrow. Our Cannock store has also relocated to an improved site. We are pleased to be creating an additional 200 jobs through our expansion this financial year.

“Our good performance in the year to date, in what remains a challenging market place, underlines the strength of DFS as the UK market leader in upholstered furniture. We remain confident that we have the right strategy, proposition and team in place to make this another year of exciting progress for DFS.”