20 July 2024, 18:00
By Furniture News Nov 04, 2022

DFS enjoys growing order volumes

In a trading update published in advance of its AGM today, DFS states that it has seen a more positive sales trend than it noted in its FY22 full year results in September (see related), where it noted that the upholstery market had softened markedly since April 2022, and had been in significant decline during July and August.

DFS says that since early September it has seen group order volumes growing relative to FY22, and also relative to the pre-pandemic FY19 financial year – and that it has also seen continued evidence of positive market share gains from the latest Barclay /CACI market data.

It says its overall performance is in line with its mid-case scenario (c.£36m PBT) for the full year, and that it would expect profits to be weighted towards H2, given the order intake profile it has seen this year to date, its made-to-order business model, and revenue being recognised on the delivery of orders to customers.

"Whilst the macroeconomic outlook is uncertain and inflationary pressures remain high, we remain focused on executing our strategy to lead furniture retailing in the digital age," states DFS. "Our business has proven to be resilient, and given our inherent strengths, we are well positioned to maintain our trend of market share gains across the economic cycle."

In March this year, DFS' board commenced a share buyback programme of up to £25m, and in September the company announced its intention to purchase a further £10m of shares. To date, c.£25m of shares have been purchased under the programme. Subject to shareholder approval, DFS intends to continue the programme for the balance of the £10m of shares.

As previously announced, Ian Durant will step down as chair from the board on 4th November. Steve Johnson, currently chair of the remuneration committee, will replace him at the AGM's close.

Chief executive Tim Stacey comments: "We are pleased to report that since mid-September we have seen positive YoY order volume growth. While we continue to be watchful of the macro economic environment, we continue to take market share and our market leading position, inherent scale and proven strategy give us confidence in our future prospects."

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