Furniture giant Dfs’s EBITDA and sales dipped in its first half however things are looking more positive for its second half.
EBITDA dropped 23.5% to £23.8m and sales declined 1.3% to £315.3m in its first half to January 25 as footfall and trading was “relatively weak” in the autumn.
The retailer said it was also impacted by the transition to its new website. However, it said the website, which was designed to improve the experience for mobile customers, was delivering “good results” and overall trade had picked up since the launch of its Winter Sale.
Dfs chief executive Ian Filby said: “I am pleased to report that we have seen a significant uplift in current trading since the launch of our Winter Sale in December, and our strong performance in this key period will contribute to a positive start to the second half.
“Our strategy remains focused on broadening our appeal, enhancing our service and making our products more accessible to customers than ever before. This has been achieved both through new store openings, the continued expansion of our multichannel offer and enhancements to our product range.”
The retailer, which opened its 100th store during the period, revealed it was partnering with contemporary retailer Dwell last month to broaden its appeal. It has already launched exclusive ranges with “aspirational brands” such as Country Living, House Beautiful and French Connection.
Filby said: “We remain confident that our strategy will deliver a satisfactory result for the full year and drive sustained outperformance of our market. Dfs continues to enjoy excellent prospects for long term profitable growth as the UK market leader in upholstered furniture.”
Dfs is also extending its trial of using local distribution centres that it has been piloting in south east England since October 2012. The trial, which involves the pooling offsite of warehouse and distribution operations for four of its stores, created additional selling space in stores for it to sell an extended range of products.
The retailer said incremental sales and profit had been made and it is now extending the trial to the north west of England.