Furniture firm reveals plans for more stores

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DONCASTER furniture chain DFS is set to use its cash balances to help fund the opening of 20 new stores over the next three years.

The upbeat outlook follows half-yearly results for the Redhouse-based firm which showed sales grew 1.8 per cent for the six months to the end of January.

DFS chief executive officer Ian Filby said: “We are pleased by the continued resilience of our financial performance in what remains a demanding trading environment, and against strong comparatives in the prior year.

“This provides us with a very strong platform for our programme of investment in new stores, the first of which opened successfully in Dundee on Boxing Day. The pipeline of future developments is building in line with our plans and is expected to deliver approximately 20 additional stores to the portfolio over the next three years.

“Like many other UK retailers, we have seen a softening in demand since the beginning of 2011. However, this external pressure on the business was anticipated in our plans for the year, and we shall continue to focus on the areas within management’s control - building on our well-established brand leadership, driving our market share by continuing to offer an outstanding proposition and excellent service to our customers, investing in our online service and pursuing our store development programme.”

DFS was sold to private equity firm Advent last year for £500m.