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A flourishing H1 for Dunelm Mill, but difficulty lies ahead.

Published: 8 January 2013
Recently named the country's top homewares retailer, Dunelm Mill has posted sales growth of 13% for the 26 weeks ending December 29, 2012 - but chief executive Nick Wharton has warned the momentum could be difficult to maintain during the second half.
A flourishing H1 for Dunelm Mill, but difficulty lies ahead.
Thanks to 10 superstore openings, one relocation and the re-opening of its Coventry superstore after a major fire in 2011, total sales reached £340.1m for the H1 period, a like-for-like increase of 2.2%.

According to the business, LfL sales growth in the second quarter was 1.6% despite two fewer days of winter sale activity compared with the previous year. LfL sales growth for both the half year and the second quarter was stronger than the homewares market benchmark as calculated by the BRC home textiles index.

Dunelm is now currently operating from 123 stores. A further six new store opportunities were committed as at the period end, and four of these are expected to opening during the next 26 weeks. This will take the number of store openings for the full financial year to 14.

Dunelm's medium term target remains to operate from 200 stores. The retailer said it had seen "continued progress in our multi-channel business which now represents approximately 4% of revenues."

Chief execturive Nick Wharton 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. The Board anticipates that profit before tax for the half year will be in the range of £59 - 60m.

"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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