DFS has reported rising sales and profits in its half-year results, with boss Ian Filby hailing the retailer’s ability to weather economic headwinds.

Revenue was up 6.8% to £379.9m in the 26 weeks to January 28 with gross sales exceeding £1bn for the first time.

Pre-tax profit rose 3.1% to £16.7m while EBITDA was up 4.5% to £32.4m.

The retailer hailed its “proven growth strategy” and “broadening appeal” and chief executive Ian Filby claimed the business was in a strong position to cope with economic headwinds:

“The scale of our business, which is larger than our next four UK competitors combined, gives us significant advantages that allow us consistently to offer outstanding value to our customers,” he said.

He added: “We are confident that our size, combined with the flexibility of our cost base and vertically integrated business model means that DFS is particularly well positioned to respond to economic headwinds and cost pressures while continuing to grow our share of the UK retail furniture market.”

Currency pressures

The retailer said that its margin had been squeezed by “adverse currency movements” from the weakening of the pound against the dollar.

DFS boss confident about furniture retailing post-Brexit

It added: “We are taking actions to mitigate these pressures through range management and supplier negotiations, and expect to see further benefits from these initiatives during the second half.”

During the period, DFS opened two new 10,000-15,000 sq ft stores, with one further location planned for early April. It also extended its small store trial and said its Crawley store was trading profitably.