Doncaster-based DFS set to float in bid to go ‘world class’

Ian Filby CEO of DFS at the company's factory at Adwick-le-Street,Doncaster. Picture Scott Merrylees
Ian Filby CEO of DFS at the company's factory at Adwick-le-Street,Doncaster. Picture Scott Merrylees

DFS Furniture has confirmed that it plans to list on the London Stock Exchange in a bid to become ‘world class’.

Doncaster-based DFS Furniture said that it intends to proceed with an initial public offering of its ordinary shares, and to trade on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

It said it would use the funds - more than £100m - to reduce its financial borrowings and provide access to a lower cost of financing.

DFS had revenues of £675m and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of £85m in the 12 months to November, the company said, while in the 26 weeks to January 15, total sales rose nine per cent.

Since opening its first store in 1969, DFS has opened 105 stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

Ian Filby, the chief executive of DFS, said: “DFS is firmly established as the UK’s leading retailer in upholstered products across all customer segments. We aim to offer our customers the widest range of sofas in the market with the best value at every price point, whilst also providing an exceptional customer service proposition. The success of our model is proven by our 45 year track record, during which we have increased our market share and sales.

“Our vision is to take DFS from being a great British business to a world class business. This is an exciting time for us as we continue to drive growth initiatives that are already underway against a backdrop of an improving macroeconomic environment. We see significant opportunity to further increase the group’s penetration in the UK, strengthen our position as the market leader for online upholstered furniture sales and we recently entered Continental Europe with the opening of our first store in the Netherlands.

“In recent years and under Advent’s ownership we have invested substantially in the infrastructure of our business to create a robust platform to support our future growth plans. We have a track record of strong financial performance, including consistently strong cash generation, which has enabled us to deliver outstanding shareholder returns. We look forward to continuing to grow profitably in a new period of public ownership.”

Richard Baker, non-executive chairman of DFS, said: “I am proud of what we have achieved at DFS since 2010 and excited about what the future holds. The group has a compelling business model that is highly cash generative, has clear growth prospects, a very strong executive management team together with well-trained and motivated employees. The board collectively brings a blend of highly valuable and wide-reaching experience. I remain confident that we have a best-in-class board capable of leading and supporting the group in the execution of its strategy.”