DFS Furniture has announced its half year results for the 26 weeks ended 28 January 2017 (comparative period: 26 weeks ended 30 January 2016).

Financial highlights include:

  • Group revenue up 6.8% to £379.9m (2016: £355.8m)
  • Gross sales for 12 month period exceed £1 billion for the first time
  • EBITDA up 4.5% to £32.4m (2016: £31.0m)
  • Profit before tax up 3.1% to £16.7m (2016: £16.2m).
  • Underlying basic earnings per share up 3.3% to 6.2 pence (2016: 6.0 pence)
  • Continued strong cash generation: gearing ratio reduced to 1.42x (2016: 1.71x)
  • Interim dividend increased 5.7% to 3.7 pence (2016: 3.5 pence)
  • Special dividend of 9.5 pence per share declared

Operational highlights include:

  • Proven growth strategy on track: 
  1. Broadening appeal
  • Continued, award-winning innovation in advertising
  • Exclusive Brands and Sofa Workshop ranges delivering further growth 

  2. UK and ROI store roll-out

  • Two new 10-15,000 sq ft DFS stores opened in UK with one further opening planned for early April
  • DFS small store trial extended: new Crawley store trading profitably

  3. International

  • The Netherlands: two new stores added
  • Spain: one new store opened, positive profit contribution expected

  4. Retail space optimisation

  • 14 Customer Distribution Centres now operational
  • 17 new co-located stores opened: 15 Dwell, 2 Sofa Workshop 

  5. Omnichannel

  • Continued double digit growth in online traffic and transactions
  • Plus record net promoter scores achieved

DFS CEO Ian Filby says: "I am pleased to report continued good sales growth and strong cash generation reflecting the successful implementation of our proven growth strategy. This strong performance underpins our announcement today of our first special dividend for shareholders.

"The scale of our business, which is larger than our next four UK competitors combined, gives us significant advantages that allow us consistently to offer outstanding value to our customers. We are confident that our size, combined with the flexibility of our cost base and vertically integrated business model means that DFS is particularly well positioned to respond to economic headwinds and cost pressures while continuing to grow our share of the UK retail furniture market. 

"Our expectations for profit before tax over the full year accordingly remain unchanged, and we believe that DFS continues to enjoy excellent prospects to deliver long-term profitable growth."