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Dunelm posts strong first half profit uplift

Dunelm has increased its first half pre-tax profit by 34.4% to £112.4 million after achieving particularly strong sales in its first quarter. In the six months… View Article

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Dunelm posts strong first half profit uplift

Dunelm has increased its first half pre-tax profit by 34.4% to £112.4 million after achieving particularly strong sales in its first quarter.

In the six months to 26 December, the retailer’s total sales climbed by 23% to £719.4 million as online sales surged by 111%. Dunelm said it benefited from pent-up demand in the early weeks of the period when stores reopened after lockdown.

The retailer also grew its number of active customers by 4.4%, which was driven by growth online.

Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm chief executive, said: “Sales were particularly strong in the first quarter, before we had to navigate the various restrictions which impacted the remainder of the period. These restrictions have become more severe in the second half of our financial year, with all but one of our stores currently closed, although we continue to serve customers through our digital channels, which have significantly advanced during the last year.”

Due to uncertainty as to when Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, Dunelm said it was unable to provide meaningful guidance on the outlook for the full year. However, the retailer said is has been covering around 70% of  its prior year sales through home delivery and click and collect, which means it is currently making a modest weekly loss.

Wilkinson added: “Beyond the near-term uncertainty, we have never been more confident about the future. Dunelm is a market leader with a challenger brand mentality, in a large and growing segment. We have a clear runway to grow active customers and their frequency across our total retail system and to realise our long-term ambitions.”

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