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Dunelm profits up 2.9% in first half

Homewares retailer Dunelm increased its profits by 2.9% in the first half of its financial year despite a fall in like-for-like sales.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Dunelm profits up 2.9% in first half

Homewares retailer Dunelm increased its profits by 2.9% in the first half of its financial year despite a fall in like-for-like sales.

In the 26 weeks to 28 December 2013, pre-tax profits rose to £61.6 million from £59.8 million in the same period in the previous year. Revenues climbed by 4.8% to £356.3 million as the company continued its new store opening programme and grew its multi-channel operations.

However, there was a 0.9% decline in like-for-like sales which Dunelm said reflected a marked reduction in footfall during the unusually warm summer.

Dunelm opened six new superstores in the period, including one relocation, and has committed to ten further sites of which five are expected to open in the current year. It also enhanced its on-line offer and extended its multi-channel presence which helped on-line sales grow by over 50% year-on-year to represent approximately 6% of revenues in the second quarter.

Commenting on the performance Dunelm chief executive Nick Wharton said: "Dunelm has delivered strong trading results over the period, and has made further important strategic progress.

"We have further strengthened our customer offer, particularly through service, and improved our infrastructure, whilst increasing scale through expanding the store portfolio and growing multi-channel. We have also invested significantly in increasing brand awareness, including through our first TV advertising campaign, and we are encouraged by the early results we have seen from this.”

Looking ahead Wharton added: "Whilst we are cautious about consumer spending trends overall, the combination of a customer offer that continues to appeal to a broad spread of consumers, a significant new store growth opportunity and an exciting multi-channel agenda all provide us with a high degree of confidence in Dunelm's future growth prospects."

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