Beds specialist Dreams is planning to launch overseas, as it posted an 88 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £13.3 million.
Dreams has held initial talks with Middle East partner Fawaz Alhokair about expanding in the region. It is also considering northern Europe and the Republic of Ireland.
Dreams managing director Nick Worthington said: “We are exploring new markets and expect to start rolling out in 2009.
“The Middle East has great potential and it’s a logical move to go into southern Ireland, because we are already in the North. Also, northern Europe has a lot of fragmented beds retailers and there is nobody there doing it better than us, so that makes sense too.”
For the year to December 24, Dreams’ like-for-likes climbed 6 per cent on the previous year. “Our results are in line with expectations and, so far this year, like-for-likes are up 6 per cent,” said Worthington.
He added that Dreams has benefited from a simplified product offer, broadening the product range to include accessories and linen, upping its store deliveries to once a week and implementing a training and development programme for all staff.
Dreams will open 50 stores this year and relaunched its web site last month. It will also launch an insomnia helpline this summer.
Talks are ongoing about the sale of 20 per cent of the business and it is understood Dreams has also courted the idea of acquiring furniture retailer ScS.
“We always look at possible acquisitions and consider all options,” said Worthington.