Dunelm posts first half sales growth
Homewares retailer Dunelm has said it delivered a “creditable” performance in the first half of its financial year with like-for-like sales rising by 6%.
This includes a 3.5% uplift in store like-for-likes and a 36.8% increase in online sales which now represent 18.5% of the retailer’s total revenues, up from 11.7% last year. Total sales rose by 18.4%.
In a statement, Dunelm said there was still more work to do to in converting its top line growth into improved profitability. During the period, its gross margin was reduced by the addition of lower margin Worldstores’ sales and by a higher proportion of end of season and seasonal sales.
Dunelm continued to invest in its IT systems, supply chain and new stores in the first half. This combined with the reduced gross margin led to an 8% reduction in pre-tax profits, before exceptional costs, to £60 million.
Looking ahead, Andy Harrison, Dunelm chairman, said: “We expect a more stable margin performance in the second half, which, together with reduced losses and increased integration benefits from the acquisition, should deliver good full year profit growth.”
On 1 February Dunelm welcomed Nick Wilkinson as its new chief executive. Wilkinson previously headed up Evans Cycles.
Harrison added: “We are confident that Nick’s leadership skills and retail pedigree will help us to deliver our ambitious growth plans to build Dunelm as the leading multichannel retailer in our space.”
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