Dunelm defies retail gloom with sales and profit rise

Homewares retailer Dunelm (LSE: DNLM) has defied the gloom engulfing the wider retail sector by delivering higher sales and profits for the first half of its financial year.

The company reported a 4.5% rise in revenue to £872.5m and a 4.8% increase in pre-tax profit to £123m for the six months to December 30. The performance comes despite Dunelm’s warning of “ongoing pressures on consumers” and an increasingly “challenging” trading environment.

However, Dunelm won market share as shoppers turned to the retailer for value homewares, with the active customer base expanding by 4.2%.

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The company declared an interim dividend of 16p, ahead of 15p last year, and a special dividend of 35p. Dunelm said it remains on track to deliver full-year pre-tax profit in line with expectations at around £202m.

But despite the resilient trading update, shares in the company fell 1.6% as the wider retail gloom continues.