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Gloucestershire Business News

Revenues fall as sofa specialists warn of subdued sales due to coronavirus

Revenues have fallen at furniture specialists DFS, although the slight slump in sales had been "expected" by the firm.

Reporting interim results for the first six months of the year, DFS Plc said performance had been on expectations "despite the challenging retail environment."

It said that than "exceptional prior year comparative driven by latent demand" had led to sales being 5.7 per cent down on the same period last year.

Revenue for the 26 weeks to December 31, 2019 totalled £488 million, down on the £517.6million for the same period in 2018.

Profit before tax fell 17.5 per cent to £20.5million with the group also admitting that there had been a slow down in sales in recent days because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Group CEO Tim Stacey said: "Despite the challenging retail environment, and excluding some isolated systems disruption in Sofa Workshop, our performance over the first half has been as expected, given the exceptional prior year comparative driven by latent demand.

"In particular we have seen a good performance by the DFS brand in driving conversion and margins and continued online sales growth.

"Trading in the second half for the Group has also started satisfactorily with performance in the DFS brand particularly encouraging, with order intake growth year-on-year and good gross margins.

"However, given the uncertainty as to how the current COVID-19 situation will develop it is not possible to give guidance with any certainty for the full-year out-turn.

"At present we believe our supply chain position should normalise before the financial year end, and it is only in very recent days that we have observed any change in consumer footfall to our showrooms.

"While any disruption to order intake over the key trading periods of Easter and the May Bank Holidays is likely to impact our financial year 2020 results, it is reasonable to believe this may ultimately be transitory in nature; following periods of subdued demand we typically see much of that latent demand returning."

DFS have a store on the Gallagher Retail Park in Cheltenham.

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