Doncaster’s DFS to return £80m to shareholders

Doncaster-based DFS Furniture plc announced it intends to return £80 million to shareholders over a 12 month period as it announced results for the 26 weeks to December 26, 2021.

“This special return will be implemented by way of a 10.0 pence special dividend to be paid alongside and in addition to the interim dividend of 3.7 pence and also through the repurchase for cancellation of up to £25 million of the group’s shares,” said DFS.

The Doncaster firm said first-half group revenue fell 2% to £561.1 million, but was up 15% on the pre-pandemic two year comparator.

Pretax profit fell 70% to £21.6 million, but was up 35.8% on a two-year basis.

DFS CEO Tim Stacey said: “We delivered a strong performance in the first half of the year, with market share gains and strong revenue growth on the pre-pandemic comparators.

“This was in spite of significant logistics and supply chain challenges and once again I would like to thank all of our colleagues across the group for their hard work and resilience in achieving this result.

“Trading across H2 to date has started strongly, again emphasising the increased scale of the business and demonstrating the success of our approach to mitigating the impact of inflationary pressures on our profit expectations.

“Our expectations for total profits across FY22 and FY23 remain unchanged, with our confidence supported by our significant order bank and strong trading in H2.

“We narrow our scenario range for FY22 to recognise that manufacturing and logistics disruption may affect H2 throughput, however our resilient order bank should mean any such in-year disruption will cause profits to shift into the next FY23 reporting period.

“We are therefore pleased to be able to reward shareholders with a special capital return that will deliver a total return to shareholders of approximately £80m over a twelve month period.

“Looking forward, whilst the macro-economic environment remains uncertain, we believe that our scale, brand strength and integrated retail strategy will continue to drive market share gains ahead of the competition.

“We will continue to invest in our digital platforms, our showrooms, our delivery networks and our UK manufacturing capacity, as well as expansion into other home categories which we believe will continue to drive long term growth and profitability.”