Dunelm sales benefit from new store openings
Homewares retailer Dunelm saw its total sales grow by 13.4% in its first half as the company benefited from the opening of ten new superstores in the period.
In the 26 weeks to 29 December 2012, total sales reached £340.1 million from £299.9 million the year before while like-for-like sales grew by 2.2%. Like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter was 1.6%, despite two fewer days of winter sale activity compared with the prior year.
Gross margin for the half year is expected to improve by 30 basis points compared with the previous year.
Dunelm, which trades from 123 stores, has committed to opening six news stores, four of which will open in the second half. This will take the number of store openings for the full financial year to 14.
There was continued progress in Dunelm’s multi-channel business which now represents approximately 4% of revenues.
Dunelm anticipates that profit before tax for the half year will be in the range of £59 – 60 million although it warned that like-for-like sales growth will be more difficult to achieve during the rest of the financial year.
Commenting on the performance, Nick Wharton, chief executive, said: "Dunelm has delivered another strong trading performance in the last half year, continuing to gain market share on a like for like basis, while strengthening its customer proposition and adding 10 new superstores.
"As we annualise our exceptionally strong comparative performance in the final quarter of last financial year, we anticipate that sales growth in like-for- like stores will become much harder to achieve in the remainder of the current financial year. Nevertheless, with a significant new store growth opportunity and an exciting multi-channel agenda in place, the Board remains confident in the longer term growth prospects for the business."
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