DFS cautious about full year outlook
Sofa retailer DFS has reported underlying gross sales growth of 10% in the five months to 30 December but has said it is remaining cautious about the outlook for its full financial year.
The company achieved like-for-like order intake growth both at DFS and at its Sofa Workshop and Dwell brands. There was also an increase of 22% in online gross sales. DFS said its Sofology brand, which it acquired in August 2017, also enjoyed good like-for-like growth as it benefited from five new stores that had opened since the start of the prior financial year.
The company added: “We believe our trading in this period has seen some benefits from orders placed by consumers who deferred their purchase decisions from the fourth quarter of the prior financial year, given the hot weather at that time.”
Despite the positive sales performance, DFS is remaining cautious regarding the outcome for its full year results.
The company said: “We are mindful of the broader political and economic uncertainty and the further risk this may pose to consumer confidence and lead times for the proportion of our made-to-order products that we source overseas. However, we do expect benefits of previous and ongoing investments in our online activities, our final-mile two-man logistics and the continued integration of Sofology, together with progress being made at Dwell and Sofa Workshop, to help mitigate this challenging market environment.”
DFS has also reported that Nicola Bancroft, its chief financial officer, will be retiring and that its chief development officer, Mike Schmidt, will become interim chief financial officer from 1 April while the board seeks a successor.
Tim Stacey, DFS group chief executive, said: “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Nicola for her dedication and service during her time with us. Nicola has been instrumental in our continued growth as the largest sofa retailer in the UK and Ireland. Without her support and contribution, we wouldn’t be the strong and successful business that we are today.”
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