But like-for-likes slim
Sofa retailer Land of Leather posted strong sales growth, after a successful store roll-out programme, in the 13 weeks to April 29.

Sales orders soared 21.8 per cent, but like-for-likes were down 0.9 per cent, during the 13-week period.

Land of Leather said sales orders were up in the quarter, after it opened of 13 stores in the first half. It added that the small decline in like-for-likes was encouraging in the present retail climate. Its third quarter sales also benefited from the first national direct mail campaign in March, along with a particularly strong Easter.

Sales orders also rocketed 21.9 per cent, but like-for-likes declined 0.8 per cent in the 39 weeks to April 29.

The retailer operates from 94 stores, but expects to open a further 10 in the next financial year. The retailer said it remains on track to complete its national roll-out of 140 stores by 2012.

Land of Leather chief executive Paul Briant said: 'The combination of our differentiated business model, which provides excellent value for customers and the store roll-out programme means we are confident of continuing to deliver strong total sales order growth and increasing our market share.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'Better performance than some, but the company appears to be using low price-point promotions to drive sales. We do worry going forward that the household goods market could take a further dip with higher interest rates a near certainty.'

The retailer added that the market has remained challenging since the start of the year, but expects full-year profits to be in line with market expectations.