DFS hit as consumers cut spending

The sofa retailer DFS suffered a fall in profits yesterday but vowed to press ahead with its store opening programme, leaving it on track to create 500 jobs this year.

The group, which operates 84 stores, said underlying profits fell 31 per cent to £28.3m in the 26 weeks to 28 January. Sales fell 10 per cent as consumers cut back on major purchases, although there was an improvement in the second quarter which it hopes will continue.

The group opened eight stores in the half year and said it is on track for at least four more by the end of its financial year, including its first outside the UK, in Dublin.

This, combined with recent moves to increase production at factories in Carcroft in south Yorkshire and at Long Eaton in Derbyshire, leaves the group on course to create 500 jobs.