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dfsCo 2Upholstery chain DFS delivered record sales in the year to 1st August as it launched new space in the UK and Ireland and prepared the ground for category expansion.


The Doncaster headquartered retailer said group revenue rose 7.5 per cent to £706.1m in 2014–15 with DFS sales up 5.8 per cent and the balance contributed by its Sofa Workshop and Dwell brands.


Group adjusted EBITDA was up 8.4 per cent to £89.2m while statutory pre-tax profit rose three-fold to £10.7m.


DFS opened six new stores, including five 10,000–15,000sqft shops plus a 2,500sqft store in the Westfield Shopping Centre in March 2015. It said the London pilot had been successful, with two more small-format shops in the capital in the pipeline.


Year-end cash and equivalents declined to £40.7m (2014: £53.8m) though net debt fell sharply to £162.2m (2014: £256.6m) at the 1st August balance sheet date as a result of it refinancing its borrowings and its IPO.


Post year-end, it opened a second Dutch store—a 10,000sqft unit in Rotterdam—last month, with another planned before the end of the year.


Within the past fortnight, it has also acquired a longstanding 5,000sqft Spanish store trading as DFS Spain for the past 10 years, and said it would use that as a base to target British expats.


Closer to home, it said it had fully utilised its available retail space with six customer distribution centres now operating successfully. This has resulted in the freeing up of around 70,000sqft of additional selling space across 12 stores, which it is using to open Sofa Workshop and Dwell shop-in-shops and to expand its dining and bedroom offer.