Doncaster’s DFS says lockdown won’t impact profit

Shares of Doncaster-based DFS Furniture fell 3% on Thursday despite a Covid-19 trading update from the firm saying “current lockdown measures (are) not expected to materially impact profitability for the first half.”

DFS said its manufacturing and deliveries are continuing through current lockdowns and it maintains a “robust” balance sheet and has access to over £300 million of funds.

“As of today, the 5th November, following Government legislation all physical showrooms in England, the Republic of Ireland and Wales, are temporarily closed, which together represent 181 of our 208 showrooms across the estate,” said DFS.

“All showrooms in all other territories are open and trading.

“Under current legislation, in England our showrooms (169) are closed for four weeks from 5 November to 2 December.

“Our Welsh showrooms (7) are due to re-open on Monday 9 November, following 16 days of closure.

“Our Irish showrooms (5) are due to reopen on 1 December, following six weeks of closure. 

“Our websites across all brands and territories remain open for business and are performing well.

“Based on our previous experience of lockdown we expect our online business to improve further.

“This will be supported by the temporary transfer of showroom colleagues to other areas of the business, including remotely assisting customers with web purchases.

“Notwithstanding the showroom restrictions, we continue to manufacture, deliver and install orders safely into customer homes in all territories. 

“Given the current very strong order bank levels, and the delivery lead times we are therefore operating at, we do not expect that this period of showroom closure will materially impact revenues and profitability for the first 26 weeks to 27 December 2020.

“Furthermore, our experience of the prior lockdown periods was that substantially all order intake disrupted during the lockdown period was either deferred until showrooms reopened or was captured online.”

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