DFS sales down against difficult consumer environment

DFS Furniture (LON:DFS) posted a decline in sales on Tuesday against a strong comparative period and a challenging consumer environment which hit particularly hard in August and September.

Shares in the furniture retailer were up slightly higher during trading on Tuesday.

DFS said that, for the 26 weeks to 29 December, gross sales were down by 6%.

“This performance reflects the challenging market environment impacting footfall and the performance in the strong prior year period that was driven by latent demand and a higher opening order bank,” the company explained.

DFS added that order intake momentum has strengthened after a “subdued” August and September.

The company expects full year profit before tax and brand amortisation to be broadly in line with market expectations.

“We are mindful of the broader political and economic uncertainty that still exists,” said DFS.

“However, we have made good progress on our strategic initiatives, driving showroom conversion and online growth. Furthermore, we have appropriate cost saving actions in place to help mitigate continued market weakness,” the company continued.

The results of the general election may have provided some political stability for now, but questions over the UK’s future relationship with the European Union prevail.

Last year was rather chaotic for UK politics, with the Brexit deadline extended several times throughout the year.

UK retail has been hit by the economic and political uncertainty, with high street names suffering against the gloomy trading conditions.

Shares in DFS Furniture plc (LON:DFS) were up on Tuesday, trading at +0.36% as of 12:12 GMT.