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Dunelm updates customers as many spruce up homes during pandemic

Customers sprucing their homes during the pandemic helped drive Dunelm to record profits over the past half-year, although the retailer warned that the economic backdrop remains “uncertain”.

The home furnishings retailer added that trading in 2022 so far has been “encouraging” as it shrugged off the potential impact of the spread of the Omicron variant.

It came as the Leicestershire-based business revealed that pre-tax profits jumped by more than a quarter to £140.8 million for the six months to Christmas Day, compared with the same period last year.

The group said it was therefore on track to meet profit guidance which it lifted last month following strong festive sales.

Dunelm stressed that the wider economic outlook “remains uncertain” but added that it is well-positioned to navigate inflationary pressures amid soaring costs for retailers.

It said the fact it sells “largely own-brand product” and strong supplier links will help shelter it somewhat from major headwinds.

Sales since the start of the year have remained “consistent” with the last six months of 2021, the company added, despite pressure from the spread of Omicron and the cost of living crisis.

The firm reported a 10.6 percent rise in sales to £795.6 million for the last six months of 2021, compared with the same period last year.

Total online sales more than doubled over the period and the company also hailed “very encouraging” store sales as customers returned to physical shops.

Nick Wilkinson, chief executive of Dunelm, said: “When we announced our interim results in 2020, we were weeks away from the world being turned upside down.

“Two years later, we are moving forwards as a bigger, better business, with more capability, more resilience, more ambition, and delivering accelerated growth.

“Together we have navigated another period filled with significant and evolving external challenges and delivered a very strong performance in the first half, with continued growth in customer numbers, further market share gains, record sales and particularly strong profitability.”

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