Dunelm Group posts 9% growth in second quarter

Homeware retailer Dunelm Group has reported sales growth of 9% for the second quarter (the 13 weeks ending December 29).

In the period, like-for-like store sales increased by 5.7% year-on-year and online sales rose by 37.9%.

These results mean that the company expects its first half pre-tax profits to be about £70 million after taking an impairment charge of £3.8 million. In the prior year, the financial results included £6.9 million of trading losses from the Worldstores businesses.

Dunelm said: ‘We are now fully focused on delivering our core Dunelm customer offer, having closed the Worldstores and Kiddicare websites, and we continue to invest in our new Home of Homes brand campaign. This integrated marketing campaign across TV, radio and social media platforms is part of our drive to reach new customers. It is early days but initial results are encouraging.

‘Development of our multichannel proposition remains a priority and we expect to begin the launch of our new website to customers in the fourth quarter. The new platform will offer Click & Collect to customers, and allow us to develop our multichannel offer with greater agility going forward.

‘We have not opened or relocated any stores during the quarter, leaving our superstore footprint at 169. We expect to open one new store (a relocation) towards the end of the financial year.

‘Given unprecedented levels of uncertainty currently facing consumers and businesses in the UK, we remain cautious about our full year outlook.’

Commenting on the results, Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “We are pleased with our overall performance in the first half, and are helping more customers than ever to create a home they love. By focusing back on our core business, under one Dunelm brand, we are improving our trading and financial performance.

“The positive like-for-like revenue growth, both in stores and online, highlights the strength of our customer offer. Our multichannel proposition is improving all the time, and we are looking forward to introducing our new web platform in the summer, using more flexible technology which will allow us to better serve our customers in a changing retail landscape.

“Despite our strong performance in the year to date, we remain cautious on the outlook for the second half given the ongoing uncertainty in the UK economy. However, in the medium term, we see significant opportunity to grow the business by focusing on our customers and seizing opportunities in a digital world.”

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