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DFS sees upturn in orders

DFS has seen like for like sales order growth across all of its brands since the summer.

Ian Filby, DFS ceo warned that he believed that the group was picking up deferred sales and the market would remain subdued.

‘The market has recovered since the start of the new financial year, with the group seeing like-for-like order growth across all brands over the first nine weeks [since 29 July]. We believe, however, we are benefiting from deferred purchases in the prior financial year and overall we expect the market to remain subdued into 2019, constrained by political risk and weak consumer sentiment,’ he said.

With the end of the earn-out period having ben reached following the 2017 takeover of Sofology, Jason Tyldesley, Sofology ceo and former majority shareholder has left the business. Sally Hopson, former Habitat, Asda and most recently Pets at Home executive has become ceo.

Sales for the year to 28 July rose by 14.1% to £870.5m including Sofology but fell by 2% to £747.7m excluding the chain.

Pre-tax profits dropped 48.5% to £25.8m.

‘The financial results for the year reflected the exceptional downturn in market demand we saw in the fourth quarter. Our online channels, together with our Sofology, Dwell and Sofa Workshop businesses, continue to grow and we will continue to progress our operational and strategic development. The financial returns of strategic investments in online, new stores and our distribution network are feeding through into our results and we expect these along with operating cost efficiencies to benefit the new financial year.’ added Filby.