Syston homeware chain Dunelm reports half-year profit and sales surge
Dunelm became the latest Leicestershire retail group to outperform the high street after reporting strong sales over the past six months.
The Syston homeware chain yesterday said sales in the 26 weeks to December 29 were up 13.4 per cent to £340.1 million.
Like-for-like sales – a key measure which includes only stores open for at least a year – rose 2.2 per cent over the same period.
The firm, the UK's biggest homeware retailer, reported that half-year profit increased by about 13 per cent to between £59 million and £60 million.
Chief executive Nick Wharton said: "Dunelm has delivered another strong trading performance in the last half year, continuing to gain market share on a like-for-like basis, while strengthening its customer proposition and adding 10 new superstores."
Like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter was 1.6 per cent, despite two fewer days of winter sale activity compared with the previous year.
Like-for-like sales growth for both the half year and the second quarter was stronger than for the homeware market as a whole.
A 60 per cent surge in online business over the past year means this now makes up 4 per cent of total group sales.
The company, founded on a Leicester market stall in 1979, now has 143 stores. It aims to eventually operate 200 stores.
The group's performance comes after Enderby fashion chain Next reported it was set to make a fourth consecutive record annual profit after buoyant trading in the run-up to Christmas.
The British Retail Consortium said total retail sales rose 1.5 per cent in December, and were up 0.3 per cent on the like-for-like measure.
Last year, Dunelm leapfrogged John Lewis to become the UK's biggest seller of items for the home.
Retail data specialist Verdict said Dunelm had 6.9 per cent of the £10.7 billion-a-year UK homeware market, compared with the 6.8 per cent slice held by the 148-year-old department store chain.
The company was founded by Bill and Jean Adderley on Leicester market 34 years ago. They and their son Will recently received a £46.7 million pay-out after a return of cash to shareholders.