Fantastic Furniture posted a 38 per cent drop to $7.3 million in first half profit. However, the furniture retailer believes it can grow market share this year.

Fantastic’s first half revenue rose 21 per cent to $191.5 million, but like-for-like sales, excluding sales for newly-acquired Dare Gallery and Le Cornu brands, remained static due to falling consumer spending.

Profit before tax from continuing operations fell 38 per cent to $10.5 million due to higher employment, property and marketing expenses.

Financial costs blew out to $421,078 for the December 2008 half, from $146,594 for the December 2007 half year.

Earnings per share fell to 7.67 cents for the first half 2009, down from 12.48 cents for the previous corresponding half.

During the six months to 28 December, Fantastic opened 13 new stores, resulting in rising costs but a minimal sales contribution to the interim result. The company also acquired a 95 per cent stake of Le Cornu furniture stores in Adelaide and Darwin, and six Dare Gallery stores and three franchise stores.