// Dunelm posts full-year profit decline due to the Covid-19 lockdown
// The homewares retailer suffered a 13.3% drop in pre-tax profit to £109.1m
Dunelm has witnessed a drop in full-year profits after the Covid-19 lockdown forced store closures and led to dented sales.
The homewares retailer recorded a 13.3 per cent drop in pre-tax profit to £109.1 million in the 52 weeks to June 27.
Sales fell 3.9 per cent year-on-year to £1 billion, despite a 6.8 per cent rise in sales in the eight months to February.
Meanwhile, Dunelm recorded a spike in online sales, which more than doubled year-on-year after its stores were forced to close during the fourth quarter.
During the first two months of its new financial year, Dunelm hailed “strong trading” with sales rising 59 per cent in July and 24 per cent in August.
The business said that the rise was accelerated by a combination of pent-up customer demand and the anticipated summer sale.
Online sales accounted for 31 per cent of Dunelm’s total sales during that two-month period, and were up 130 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.
Dunelm said it has not made any claims through the government’s coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since its stores reopened, and does not plan to claim the Government’s Job Retention Bonus.
“We made good progress before the onset of Covid-19, building our digital capabilities, extending our product choice and value, and broadening and deepening our customer base,” Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said.
“These recent months have taught us about our ability to innovate at pace and we are emerging stronger as a result, giving us the confidence to accelerate our strategic priorities, all of which focus on being customer first.
“Whilst the year to date performance has been materially ahead of our initial expectations, it is very difficult to provide any meaningful guidance on the future outlook given the uncertainty in the wider economy and the potential impact of further regional or national lockdowns.”