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Furniture retailer DFS cranked out a 7 per cent rise in gross sales in the six months to the end of January, but it’s still sounding tentative.

In a trading update on Thursday, the company once again said that “adverse foreign exchange movements” were hurting margins, though it is trying to soften the blow from the plunge in the pound by renegotiating contracts with suppliers.

In addition…

We recognise that in 2017 the retailing of furniture in the UK faces an increased risk of a market slowdown given the uncertain outlook for consumer confidence.

The Great British shopper has proven startlingly resilient since the UK’s vote to leave the EU last year, though some small cracks in confidence may now be appearing. Many analysts expect consumers to be more cautious in the year ahead as the slide in sterling jacks up the price of imported products.

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