DFS has posted an increase in sales during its first half and forecast “modest” full-year growth despite “challenging” market conditions.

The furniture specialist said it remains “on track” to meet full-year expectations after gross sales climbed 4% in the 26 weeks to January 27.

However, stripping out the impact of the Sofology acquisition, group sales were down 3.5% on the prior year.

DFS hailed “strengthening” like-for-like momentum during the six-month period and said it expects “stronger” sales trends in the second half of its financial year.

The business highlighted the impact of its growing ecommerce offer and its Dwell shop-in-shops in its first half.

Sofology, which it acquired in November, registered a 13% spike in sales year on year.

DFS also expects to relaunch the eight former Multiyork stores it snapped up last year by this Easter. Six of the shoowrooms will trade under the Sofa Workshop banner.

The retailer warned that the trading environment would remain “challenging” throughout 2018 as a result of fragile consumer confidence, but insisted its expanded portfolio would deliver “modest growth” in EBITDA and improved cost efficiencies in the second half.

DFS will announce its full interim results on March 28.