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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dunelm raises profit expectations as sales soar

The retailer saw strong growth both online and in stores.

Lawn ornaments from Dunelm’s summer range (Dunelm/PA)
Lawn ornaments from Dunelm’s summer range (Dunelm/PA)

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter

Dunelm has unveiled soaring sales in the third quarter and a boost to profit expectations as it gears up for another scorching summer.

Like-for-like sales at the home retailer were up 12.5% in the 13 weeks to March 30, with growth both in stores and online.

Comparable sales in shops were up 9.8%, versus significantly weaker growth last year when shoppers were put off by the Beast from the East.

Online revenue was up 32.1% in the period.

Profitability also improved, with an increase of 90 basis points to gross margins. This was driven by better sourcing and the closure of the Worldstores business.

The company said that although political and economic uncertainty remains high, it currently expects to report annual pre-tax profits that are slightly above market expectations.

Shares in the group were up 2.3% on Wednesday morning.

Dunelm said it is now looking to drive sales in the Spring/Summer season, partly through its new advertising campaign which includes a sponsorship deal with ITV’s This Morning.

Meanwhile, garden ranges including llama and flamingo lawn ornaments have already proved a hit with customers, as Britain prepares for the possibility of another scorching summer.

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “We are delighted that customers continue to respond well to our improving homewares offer as we help them create a home they love.

“The strong growth in the third quarter reflects our ongoing focus on attracting more customers to the brand and giving them more reasons to shop with us through great product and service. Our performance was also buoyed by a positive homewares market.”

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