Sofa retailer DFS recorded a 17.2% EBITDA surge to £10.2m in its first quarter continuing “the positive performance” of the second half of last year in “what remains a challenging market”.

Sales rose 12.3% year on year to £144m in the 13 weeks to October 27.

DFS chief executive Ian Filby said that the performance reflected both an “improvement against the relatively weak first quarter last year” and “the growing contribution” from its new store opening programme.

Filby added: “Our store opening programme is firmly on track, while we are simultaneously enhancing our successful and growing online business to offer a fully multi-channel experience, including our sofa and room planning app.”

The retailer said its expansion strategy included two new stores in Stockport and Stirling during the period and added that the new stores are performing well. DFS also revealed that a second store outside the UK is opening tomorrow (December 15) in Cork, Republic of Ireland, as part of a £600,000 investment in the expansion programme during the quarter.

DFS already operates a store in Dublin.