Dunelm’s fourth quarter sales rise as CEO remains “cautious”

// Dunelm’s store like-for-likes increased 12.1% in the 4th quarter to June 29
// Online sales climbed 37%
// Total like-for-like sales rose 15.4%
// The retailer now remains confident about its full-year profits

Dunelm has posted a rise in quarterly sales and now expects its full-year profit to be at the upper end of management’s view.

The British homeware retailer reported its store like-for-likes increased 12.1 per cent in the fourth quarter to June 29, while online sales climbed 37 per cent thanks to increased consumer demand.

The retailer raised its annual profit forecast in June, and now anticipates profit at the higher end of the £124 million to £126 million range, as total like-for-like sales rose 15.4 per cent.

Dunelm raised its annual profit forecast for the second time in two months in June.

The group’s net debt as of June 29 was £25.3 million and weekly average net debt during the second half of the year was £20.6 million.

Net debt was lower than expected due to higher operating profits, positive working capital management and the timing of capital investment at year end.

Dunelm said it is continuing to progress the phased roll-out of its new digital platform, while also continuing to invest in raising brand awareness.

There were two new store openings towards the end of the quarter (including one relocation), increasing Dunelm’s store footprint to 170.

“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,” Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said.

“We continue to invest in the business, particularly in strengthening our digital capabilities and reaching more customers through our brand marketing initiatives.

“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.”

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