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DFS first quarter sales hit by hot summer weather

Sofa retailer DFS experienced a slowdown in sales in its first quarter as trade was hit by the hot summer weather.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

DFS first quarter sales hit by hot summer weather

Sofa retailer DFS experienced a slowdown in sales in its first quarter as trade was hit by the hot summer weather.

In the 13 weeks to 26 October 2013, sales fell to £142.5 million from £144 million in the same period last year. In addition, EBITDA fell to £7.2 million from £10.2 million previously.

DFS said the fall reflected the unusually hot summer this year, adding that the first three months of the year always make the smallest contribution to full year sales and profit.

During the period, DFS opened new stores in Aintree and Ipswich and will open a new shop in Torquay before Christmas, taking the total number of DFS stores in the UK and Ireland to 100.

The retailer also launched a new website to cater for the growing number of customers who access the DFS website through tablets and mobile phones.

DFS chief executive Ian Filby said that a partnership with Sofa Workshop was broadening the retailer's appeal to wealthier customers and was building on the success achieved through the launch of exclusive ranges of sofas handcrafted in the UK under the Country Living, House Beautiful and French Connection brands.

Filby added: “Our first quarter results demonstrate once again DFS’s ability to deliver consistently excellent cash returns despite any short term fluctuations in trading. Whilst the marketplace remains challenging, and the softness in order intake has continued into the autumn, our most important trading period is still to come and we are better placed than ever before to maximise DFS’s market share.

“We remain confident that our proven strategy will deliver continued outperformance and that DFS enjoys excellent prospects for long term profitable growth as the UK market leader in upholstered furniture.”

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