The DFS Furniture Board has carefully considered the balance between regular dividends supported by the performance, expectations and capital needs of the Group and the return of capital where there is a surplus. They anticipate that value created over time will be delivered to shareholders through a combination of capital growth and dividends.
Notwithstanding the current tough environment, their longer-term expectations for the future earnings and cash needs of the business have enabled the Board to recommend maintaining a final dividend of 7.5 pence (FY18: 7.5 pence) taking the full year ordinary dividend to 11.2 pence (FY18: 11.2 pence). The Financial Review provides further information on their dividend policy.
Other financial highlights include:
Good trading performance with all brands and channels achieving like-for-like gross sales growth
Underlying profit before tax (excluding brand amortisation) for the pro-forma 52 weeks to 30 June 2019, up 31.1% on the 52 week period to 28 July 2018
Continuing good free flow cash generation and lower leverage
Good progress made following the launch of the new strategy to lead sofa retailing in the digital age:
o Drive the DFS Core: Return to like-for-like growth in DFS, driven by 16.2% growth in online sales supported by technology and product innovation
o Build the Platforms: Shared use of logistics, manufacturing and property assets underway, with further opportunities being pursued
o Unlock New Growth: 14.4% pro-forma sales growth at Sofology and significant year-on-year profit improvement; Netherlands also showing encouraging signs
Colleagues well-engaged in new strategy and DFS named a 'Top 25' Big Company to work for once again
Customer satisfaction remains positive with all four Group retail brands rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot