DFS upbeat after earnings surge

DFS upbeat after earnings surge

DFS Furniture said it had strong momentum after reporting a 16% rise in earnings in its first set of results since a stock market flotation.

The UK-based sofa chain business, which has 105 stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, achieved adjusted earnings of £27.6m in the 26 weeks to the end of January.

It said it added four new stores in the UK and one in Ireland during the period, as well as opening its first outlet in the Netherlands.

The business returned to the London stock market earlier this month, valuing it at over £540m after an absence of more than a decade.

The retailer, which competes against rivals such as Furniture Village and Sofaworks, said it plans to open three to five new UK shops a year. It added it was on track to meet its full-year forecasts.

The group, which also includes Dwell and Sofa Workshop, said its flotation costs were in the region of £20m.

Chief executive Ian Filby said the stock market listing gave DFS the platform to go from “a great British business to a world class business”.

He added: “Our continued momentum in the first half of the current financial year has built on the strong performance of the second half last year to deliver a record last twelve months’ result for the group.”

During the period it opened UK stores in York, Ayr, Basingstoke and Oxford.

DFS was founded by Lord Kirkham from a single store in Doncaster. The group was listed on the London market between 1993 to 2004 before Lord Kirkham took it back into private hands. It was then sold to private equity business Advent International for £500m in 2010.

The firm sold 38% of itself earlier this month to new investors raising £98m, which it says it will use to pay off debt and secure cheaper financing.

The majority of the firm is still owned by Advent International, while its directors hold a 3.2% stake in the retailer.

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