Furniture retailer DFS has reported EBITDA growth of 8.5% to £48.3m in the nine months to April 27, after opening eight stores this year.

Sales were up 7.8% to £481.8m at the 97-store retailer.

The UK’s largest sofa specialist invested £2.5m in expanding the business.

DFS chief executive Ian Filby said: “DFS has continued to make good progress in the first nine months of our 2012/13 financial year. The group achieved a 7.8% uplift in sales to £481.8m, despite the difficult economic and trading climate, continuing the positive trend of the first half.

“This robust performance underlines the strength of the DFS brand, as well as the success of our strategy to broaden our appeal, enhance our service and make our products more accessible to customers than ever before, both through new store openings and our multichannel offer.

“We have further enhanced our product offer with the very successful introduction of our new, exclusive ranges of high-quality sofas handcrafted in the UK under the Country Living, House Beautiful and French Connection brands. By strengthening our appeal to more aspirational consumers, these ranges demonstrate DFS’s commitment to providing something for everyone, addressing all sections of the upholstered furniture marketplace.”

Filby added that the store opening programme “remains on track” with shops opening in Westwood Cross in Kent, Eastbourne, Bristol Longwell Green, Dudley and Stockton-on-Tees in the third quarter.

“We have also continued to grow our successful online business, supported by our free sofa and room planner app, in order to provide a fully multichannel offer,” said Filby.

DFS refinanced in March through a £310m bond issue, enabling the retailer to refinance in full the outstanding 9.75% bond due in 2017 as well as making a payment to its shareholders and reducing its cost of borrowing.

“This establishes a more efficient capital structure for the business going forward,” said Filby. “Our good performance in the year to date reinforces the strength of DFS’s position as the UK market leader in upholstered furniture. We remain confident that we have the right strategy, proposition and team in place to make this another successful year of progress for DFS.”