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Dunelm Group issues trading update

Improvements in store portfolio helps grow total sales.

CITY & CORPORATE

Dunelm Group issues trading update

Improvements in store portfolio helps grow total sales.

For the 26 week period to 1st January 2011, total sales were up 8.5 %, at £275.7m (£254.2m FY10 (H1).

Like for like revenue growth of 2.1% in the first quarter was offset by a decline of 4.2% in the second, leading to a small decline over the half year.

Superstores were opened in seven new locations during the half year, including the relocation of an under-sized superstore in Hereford. The total number of superstores trading at the period end was 100, compared with the Group's stated medium term target of 150 - 200 superstores across the UK.

Gross margin for the period is estimated to have improved by 110 basis points compared with the same period in the prior year, with similar levels of increase being achieved in each quarter.

The Board says it remains confident in the Group's prospects for long-term growth.

They add that in the short term they remain cautious about the UK consumer environment and therefore in their expectations for second half trading. While the impact of general economic factors on consumer demand is uncertain, the increase in VAT will place further pressure on ex-VAT revenues and the recent rise in cotton prices is expected to feed through to increased cost of goods by the middle of the calendar year.

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