Spotlight: DFS – sofa so good

The Yorkshire-based retailer and manufacturer today is due to reveal record annual profits this year that will build on an 18.5% sales increase reported in May, that generated a record interim pre-tax profit of £22.1m for the group.

Chartered accountant duo chief operating officer Jonathan Massey and FD Ian Bowness have overseen a leap in sales up by almost 23% to £169.4m with around 4,340 sofas sold a week.

Massey and Bowness have also doubled in-house manufacturing, which now accounts for a fifth of its sales.

Executive chairman Lord Kirkham, one of the Tory party’s wealthiest supporters, said in May that the company was in ‘the strongest position we have ever been in.’

When it comes to e-business, the soft furnishing specialists are taking it easy – with a website offering product information to lure customers to stores rather than an online substitute for bricks and mortar.

The group now runs 53 chain stores in England and Wales, and plans are already underway to expand north of the border with stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh. A move into Europe is also in the pipeline.

Jonathan Massey, 51, has worked as chief operating officer at DFS since 1988, and previously worked at Allied Carpet Stores. Massey trained with Peat Marwick McLintock.

FD Bowness, 53, joined DFS from the Sears Group, where he was financial controller from 1986-1993 as FD at Adams Children Wear and originally trained with Pricewaterhouse.

Competitive pricing and improved marketing have helped DFS take a 12% slice of the UK market.

The market leader in the tough soft furnishing sector, which includes House of Fraser, IKEA and MFI furniture, DFS shares last week sat comfortably at 342.5p

DFS Furniture

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