The homewares retailer said total sales in the 13 weeks to 26 June were up 101.7% year-on-year to GBP380.1mln. In recognition that the year ago period was during the first UK lockdown, the company gave a comparison with the same period of 2019, and compared to this sales were up 43.9% on what is the final quarter of the retailer’s fiscal year.
Full-year sales of GBP1,336.2mln were up 26.3% year-on-year and up 21.4% on the same period of 2019.
Digital sales represented 46% of total sales during the year, up 19 percentage points on the previous year and 26 percentage points on two years ago.
For the full year, the gross margin improved by 1.3 percentage points (130 basis points), reflecting the timing of its summer sale and a lower level of discounting throughout the year.
Full-year pre-tax profit is expected to be in the region of GBP158mln; the consensus forecast prior to today’s announcement was for profit of GBP150mln.
The shares fell however as the company said it would increase investment levels in the current fiscal year. Investors were informed that a detailed update of the investment plans would be provided in its full-year results statement, due out in September.
“Although our stores were closed for more than a third of the year, our strategy of investing in our digital capabilities allowed us to adapt to the changing environment and deliver strong growth,” said Nick Wilkinson, the chief executive officer of Dunelm.
“From what we have learned during the pandemic about our customers, colleagues, suppliers and our other stakeholders, we are more confident than ever about the opportunity to increase our market leadership and we will invest further in our proposition to support our growth ambitions.
“With many exciting developments in the pipeline to make us the first choice for home, and grow our customer base and frequency, there is a lot to look forward to,” he added.