Boom in furniture sales

Rising inflation has resulted in a boom in the furniture industry as people sought to convert spending power into inflation-proof assets. Furniture sales group, Pelhams says its volumes increased by 4 percent while sales rose by 454 percent during the first half ending September.

Turnover increased from $2.1billion to $11.5 billion, almost double the turnover for the year ending March.

Operating profit shot up by 837 percent from $932.2 million to $8.7 billion with net profit at $5.3billion, up from $656.8 million, an increase of 714 percent.

The company says it wrote off $24 million in bad debts but this represented only 0.38 percent of its gross book which averaged $7.5 billion for the period.

The company says it had to adjust its credit terms to a maximum of12 months and increased its deposit levels as well as finance charges.

It said these measures would slow down credit but would at the same time encourage cash sales.

It said cash sales which used to average 55 percent of sales had risen to 62 percent in August and September. It had opened one new store in Norton while two others were in the pipeline.

It was expecting to do well in the second half as it contained the festive period which traditionally generated 60 percent of annual sales.

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