Doncaster sofa giant DFS breaks £1 BILLION sales mark for first time in its history

DFS boss Ian Filby.
DFS boss Ian Filby.
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Doncaster based sofa giant DFS has broken the £1 billion sales mark for the first time in its history.

Sales at the nationwide sofa and furniture retailer broke the landmark figure for the first time in the group's 47-year history in 2016.

The group's shareholders are now in line for their first special dividend of 9.5p per share, while the company also increased its interim dividend by 5.7 per cent to 3.7p per share.

While boasting strong results, the boss of DFS, Ian Filby, said the UK's furniture market is at an 'increased risk' of a market slowdown amid post Brexit uncertainty and rising costs.

He added: 'Consumer confidence to date has held up well, but we recognise that furniture retailing in the UK faces an increased risk of a market slowdown in 2017 because of the uncertain political and economic outlook.

In its half-year results Carcroft-based DFS reported a 3.1 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £16.7million, while revenues rose by 6.8 per cent to £379.9million.

A separate measure of performance revealed that the group's annual sales rose by 7 per cent to £1.01billion. Online sales are up 13.9 per cent on a year ago.

DFS, which is Britain's second biggest furniture retailer after IKEA, began life in 1969 when 24-year-old entrepreneur Graham Kirkham began making and selling furniture above a Doncaster snooker hall and trading as Northern Upholstery.

Kirkham bought Darley Dale based Direct Furnishing Supplies in the 1980s, with the company being rebranded as DFS and in April 2010, the company was sold off to a private equity firm for £500 million.