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DFS sees sales slip back but looks to stronger second half

DFS has seen underlying sales slip in the past six months but Sofology enjoyed double-digit growth and the chain expects a stronger second half.

The chain said sales excluding Sofology in the six months to 27 January were down by 3.5%.

Including Sofology, which the acquisition of was completed on 30 November, sales were up 4%.

It said online sales and Dwell ‘have once again grown strongly’ and that like for like momentum strengthened during the half. Sales growth in the current half is expected to be stronger.

Sofology saw 2017 sales about 13% higher than 2016.

Four DFS stores were opened in the UK, one in the Netherlands along with five Dwell and five Sofa Workshop branches within DFS stores.

‘We recognise that the living room furniture retail market is likely to remain challenging in 2018, given current consumer confidence levels. However, with the benefits of strategic investments feeding through, our expectations for the full year are unchanged. We continue to expect modest growth in EBITDA in the 2018 financial year (excluding the impact of acquisitions), driven by the annualisation of product margin and operating cost efficiencies over the second half of the financial year,’ said Ian Filby, DFS ceo.