DFS predicts profit improvement over year ahead despite pressure on sales

The group reported a 4% drop in gross sales for the year to June 25, but secured a record market share of 38%.

Holly Williams
Monday 17 July 2023 08:07 BST
DFS Furniture has revealed falling full-year sales as trading conditions proved ‘significantly worse than expected’, but said cost-cutting actions are helping limit the hit to profits (Nick Ansell/PA)
DFS Furniture has revealed falling full-year sales as trading conditions proved ‘significantly worse than expected’, but said cost-cutting actions are helping limit the hit to profits (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

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Sofa chain DFS Furniture has revealed falling full-year sales as trading conditions proved “significantly worse than expected”, but said cost-cutting actions are helping to limit the hit to profits.

The group reported a 4% drop in gross sales for the year to June 25, with consumer spending on big ticket items such as sofas, dented by the cost-of-living crisis and wider economic woes.

DFS said the wider market saw sales by volume tumble 15% to 20% over the year, but it secured a record market share of 38%.

It is set to post underlying profits in line with expectations for the year to June 25 – at just over £30 million – “despite the market being significantly worse than expected”, and said cost control should help profits lift slightly over the new financial year.

We are in the strongest position we have ever been as a group in terms of market share

Tim Stacey, DFS

In March, the retailer downgraded profit expectations, guiding for between £30 million and £35 million.

This marks a steep drop on the £60.3 million underlying profits reported in 2021-22.

DFS said “prudent planning” would help underlying profits improve in 2023-24, despite the ongoing uncertain economic outlook as it takes action to boost its profit margins through cost savings and cutting spending.

Group chief executive Tim Stacey said: “We are in the strongest position we have ever been as a group in terms of market share, and when the market recovers we will be well-placed to deliver our strategy and grow our earnings and cash flows towards our longer-term plan.”

The group will post full-year results on September 21.

DFS reported half-year figures in March showing that statutory pre-tax profits plunged by more than two-thirds to reach £6.8 million as revenues fell 2.2% to £545 million.

It said at the time that net debt more than doubled to £136 million.

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