UK furniture retailer DFS eyes Rio Olympics for brand building

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Fresh from its listing on the London Stock Exchange, British furniture retailer DFS is counting on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to help drive sales in 2016.

DFS, which calls itself “the sofa experts”, sees significant potential to promote its brand with consumers, leveraging the strong consumer appeal of Team GB.

“We will be creating a home away from home for the British athletes in the Olympics village in Rio”, Chief Executive Ian Filby told Reuters.

DFS was founded in 1969 by billionaire Graham Kirkham, a miner’s son from Yorkshire.

The sofa retailer was bought in 2010 by private equity firm Advent International, now its majority shareholder.

DFS now holds a 25 percent share in Britain’s 3-billion-pound upholstered furniture market. The company operates 105 retail stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

In the year to Aug. 1, the group posted pretax profit of 10.7 million pounds ($16.4 million) on revenue of 706.1 million pounds.

Up to Wednesday’s close, the company’s shares had risen about 20 percent from the IPO price of 255 pence, giving it a market value of about 653 million pounds. ($1 = 0.65 pounds) (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Writing by Kate Holton in London; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)