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Dunelm ends the year on 12.2% sales increase

Published: 16 July 2013
Dunelm Mill, recently revealed as the country's leading homewares retailer, saw sales increase 12.2% to £677.2m for the 52 weeks ending June 29, 2013.
Dunelm ends the year on 12.2% sales increase
On a like-for-like basis sales grew by 1.7% for the year. The increase reflected "the strong store opening programme over the last two financial years," said the group, adding that there were 14 new openings in the latest financial year, of which two were relocations and one a re-opening, bringing total store numbers up to 126.

The last 26 weeks of the year saw total sales increase by 11%, up 1.2% LfL, while the final 13 week quarter saw sales up 6.4% overall, though with a LfL drop of 2.8%. This, said the group, was due to "the annualisation of extremely favourable weather conditions in the equivalent period of the previous financial year, during which LfL revenues grew by 10.4%."

Gross margins for the financial year and the final quarter are expected to have improved by approximately 40 and 80 bps respectively, with Q4 performance benefitting from "a cleaner stock position as older clearance stock had been exited successfully in our winter sale."

Multi-channel is an ever-expanding category at the retailer, amounting to approximately 4% of its annual sales, and increasing to 4.5% during the final quarter. According to the group, "natural growth in this area will be supplemented by a significant increase in the number of lines offered for home delivery, enabled by a larger fulfilment centre." This facility, it added, will become operational in October this year, just ahead of the peak Christmas trading period.

Said chief executive Nick Wharton: "Over the last twelve months, we have significantly strengthened our customer proposition, have further improved our margin management and have grown our store portfolio through the addition of 14 new superstores. We completed the financial year with a solid trading performance in the final quarter and as a consequence, the Board anticipates that profit before tax for the year will be approximately £108m.

"With plans in place to develop further our compelling customer proposition, and with a significant opportunity for future growth from both new stores and multi-channel still in front of us, the Board remains confident in the overall prospects for the business."

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