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Dunelm Mill trading "ahead of expectations"

Published: 6 November 2009
Dunelm Mill has reported 'very strong' sales for the first 17 weeks of its financial year (to October 31 2009) and continues to expand its store portfolio.
Dunelm Mill trading 'ahead of expectations'
Total sales for the period were £154.7m, compared with £123.3m for the same period last year, an increase of 25.5%. Like-for-like sales performance increased by an impressive 15.1%.

In its trading statement released this week, the company has cited "reduced competition due to the exit from the homewares market of Woolworths and other smaller retailers and relatively resilient consumer spending." However, the figures have also been boosted by weak comparative figures for the period last year.

This favourable comparison will continue for the rest of the first half, says Dunelm, and the period will include sales from eight days of the winter sale compared with two days in last year comparable period.

The effect of this is that "the board is much more cautious in it's expectations for like-for-like growth in H2. The positive calendar effect related to the winter sale will reverse; the year-on-year benefit of competitor withdrawals will pass and the broader economic considerations including the planned increase in VAT, possible public spending cuts and expected higher levels of unemployment could have an adverse effect on general consumer spending."

Dunelm Mill opened four new superstores in the first 17 weeks of the financial year and plans two more before the end of the first half on January 2. Six new leases have also been signed in the period making a total of 12 new stores in the period.

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