Homewares retailer, Dunelm Group plc, has reported the following trading update for the 13-week period ended 29 June 2019 and reports total like-for-like (LFL) revenue for the fourth quarter as seeing an increase of 15.4%, reflecting strong underlying growth in stores and online, the benefit of a weak comparator period last year and favourable weather this year.
In Q4 LFL store revenue increased by 12.1% and LFL online revenue on Dunelm.com has continued to grow strongly in the quarter, up by 37.0%. In terms of business development the group said it is continuing to progress the phased roll-out of our new digital platform. The business will fully transfer onto the new platform during FY20, proceeding carefully through the beta phases in order not to disrupt the strong growth on the existing website.
Dunelm's chief executive officer, Nick Wilkinson commented: "In the year that Dunelm turned 40, we are delighted that both new and existing customers continue to respond positively to our evolving offer. The strong growth in the final quarter, and the year as a whole, demonstrates that in a rapidly changing marketplace, the broad appeal of Dunelm's purpose 'to help everyone create a home they love' is resonating well.
"We continue to invest in the business, particularly in strengthening our digital capabilities and reaching more customers through our brand marketing initiatives.
"Looking forward, as the UK's leading homewares specialist, we see significant opportunity for continued growth both from our stores and online, whilst maintaining our improved operational discipline. In the short-term, we remain cautious about the uncertain political climate and the impact it may have on consumer spending, but expect to make further progress in the year ahead and are confident about the Group's longer-term prospects."
Dunelm has said it expects full year profit before tax to be towards the upper end of the range of £124m - £126m, announced in the trading update on June 20 2019.
At June 29 2019, net debt was £25.3m (FY18: £124.0m) and weekly average net debt during the second half of the year was £20.6m. Net debt was lower than expected due to higher operating profits, positive working capital management and the timing of capital investment at year end.
There were two new store openings towards the end of the quarter (including one relocation), increasing the store footprint to 170 superstores. Dunelm said it expects to open two new stores (including one relocation) in the first half of FY20.