Sofa giant DFS adjusted EBITDA remained flat at £41.2m in the 26 weeks to January 29.

Sales edged up 1% to £330.7m.

DFS chief executive Ian Filby said: “We are pleased by the continued resilience of our financial performance in what remains a demanding trading environment, and against strong comparatives in the prior year.”

He added: “Like many other UK retailers, we have seen a softening in demand since the beginning of 2011.

“However, this external pressure on the business was anticipated in our plans for the year, and we shall continue to focus on the areas within management’s control: building on our well-established brand leadership, driving our market share by continuing to offer an outstanding proposition and excellent service to our customers, investing in our online service and pursuing our store development programme.

“We will also maintain our focus on managing margin and costs, and on continuing to maximise cash generation.”

Filby said the business has remained “strongly cash generative”, with cash balances increasing to £46.3m, compared with £7.0m at the beginning of our financial year.

“This provides us with a very strong platform for our programme of investment in new stores, the first of which opened successfully in Dundee on Boxing Day,” said Filby.

He added that the “pipeline of future developments is building in line with our plans”. The retailer wants to open about 20 stores in the next three years.