July 14, 2020 / 7:13 AM / 23 days ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-DFS Furniture upbeat on order bounce after lockdown sales hit

(Fixes garble in first paragraph)

July 14 (Reuters) - British retailer DFS Furniture said on Tuesday orders had picked up strongly since stores re-opened following coronavirus lockdowns, while reporting a roughly 27% fall in sales for the year to the end of June due to delays in deliveries.

The upholstery retailer, like thousands of businesses, had to pause operations as Britain went into lockdown in March, hitting sales and driving emergency cost cuts and moves to prop up cashflow to ride out the crisis.

Its annual results showed revenue for the year ended June 28 dropped by about 271 million pounds ($339.83 million) to 725 million pounds.

The company said trading on its website had accelerated during the lockdown, however, and that the reopening of showrooms with safety measures in place had seen a 69% surge in new orders between June 1 and July 12 compared to a year earlier.

“Order intake in showrooms following re-opening has been markedly above prior year comparatives, reflecting latent demand,” DFS said.

Shares in the company rose around 3% in early trade and brokerage Peel Hunt said the company was off to a “good start” while some competitors struggled.

$1 = 0.7974 pounds Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Patrick Graham

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