Danish furniture retailer Jysk’s UK operation has reported strong sales in its full-year accounts, although losses widened as start-up costs hit its bottom line.

Jysk - which debuted in the UK in spring 2008 - reported sales jumped to £2.5m in the year to August 31. That was up from £1m in its first reported period, which covered the five months to August 31, 2008. Losses widened to £2.7m from £1.9m in the previous period.

UK manager Steve Stenhouse said the widening losses were “expected” as the retailer had to establish its infrastructure. He explained Jysk only has four shops at present and is “set up for 100 stores”.

He estimated that Jysk will need about 20 stores to make a profit, and will ramp up expansion plans to more than quadruple its portfolio in the next 18 months. He also said like-for-like sales are strong, up 20% in the current year to date.

Jysk will open two shops in the current financial year, and 12 in the year after, taking its store count to 18.

All stores will be 10,000 sq ft to 14,000 sq ft and located in the northwest. The retailer plans to open about 100 stores “from Hull to the Wirral” before expanding more nationally. Jysk has ambitions to have 500 shops nationwide.

Stenhouse said Jysk has been “absolutely flying” this year, although said the snow gave it a “little bit of a knock”.

He added: “The economy is not completely out of the woods but we’ve had a great start to this year. We’re bucking the trend. We’ve given our customers that reassurance that we’re here to stay.”

Jysk Group trades from 1,600 stores across 32 countries and generates a turnover of about E2.15bn (£1.94bn) annually.