Dunelm on track to meet profit views despite volatile trading

Homewares retailer Dunelm Group (LSE: DNLM) said on Thursday it is on course to meet market expectations for full-year pretax profit, after delivering sales growth in the first half of its financial year despite “volatile week-to-week trading patterns”.

The FTSE 250 firm said in a trading update that total sales climbed 4.5% to £872m in the six months to December 31, as customer demand held up. However, shares fell 1.0% to 1,030.41p.

Dunelm opened three new stores in the period, taking its total estate to 183. It remains confident of hitting its full-year target for new shop launches.

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For the second quarter alone, sales edged up 0.8% year-on-year to £482m. The digital contribution also grew to account for over a third of the total.

Chief Executive Nick Wilkinson said the breadth of Dunelm’s ranges and “outstanding value” continue to prove popular with customers. He added that new spring collections “look fantastic” as the group nears the end of its winter sale event.

Dunelm continues to gain market share despite pressures on consumers’ non-essential spending budgets, Wilkinson insisted. The board believes 2023-24 pretax profit will hit between £199m and £207m, in line with market forecasts of around £202m.