The UK's largest gym operator has expanded into mainland Europe after completing the £350 million acquisition of rival Fitness World.

PureGym, which has more than 250 UK sites, has bought the Danish gym operator as part of the deal first announced last month.

The company said the combined group will now trade from more than 500 sites, which it said will now make it the second-largest operator across the continent.

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The move comes more than two years after PureGym was purchased by American private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners for an estimated £600 million.

Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive officer at PureGym, said that demand for "affordable, high-quality and no-contract fitness facilities in Europe is greater than ever".

The Duke of Westminster's property investment firm Grosvenor Group is on the hunt for a new chief after incumbent Craig McWilliam stepped down for "personal reasons".

Mr McWilliam was chief executive of the group's arm for Britain and Ireland but was due to become group chief executive next year.

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The firm said his sudden departure was "mutually agreed" in a statement and has named James Raynor, who worked as executive director for Grosvenor in recent months, as its chief for Britain and Ireland.

Current group chief executive Mark Preston said: "James Raynor has been preparing to take over this role for several months and will ably step up ahead of the original timetable to play a key role in enhancing the way we develop, manage and invest in property".

Sofa chain DFS has said annual profits are set to remain "broadly" on track despite revealing a half-year sales tumble amid difficult retail conditions.

The group posted a 6% fall in gross sales for the six months to December 29 after a particularly tough August and September.

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DFS - which also owns the Sofology, dwell and Sofa Workshop brands - said full-year underlying profits would be roughly in line with forecasts thanks to better recent trading and an expected "low single-digit" rise in sales over the final six months.

But investors remained unconvinced, with shares falling 3%.

Experts at Jefferies said the gross sales slump indicated a like-for-like sales drop of around 7% over the half-year.

DFS said the sales fall in the first half "reflects the challenging market environment impacting footfall and the performance in the strong prior year period".

Since the late summer and early autumn sales woes, DFS has seen improved order intake and added that key winter promotional sale trading had started "satisfactorily".

Overall group revenues are also set to be given a boost by the addition of new showrooms over the past six months.

The market is currently expecting annual underlying earnings for DFS to edge up slightly to £51.2 million from £50.2 million the previous year.

DFS said: "We are mindful of the broader political and economic uncertainty that still exists.

"However, we have made good progress on our strategic initiatives, driving showroom conversion and online growth.

"Furthermore, we have appropriate cost-saving actions in place to help mitigate continued market weakness."