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Dunelm enjoys strong quarter

dunelm2Homewares chain Dunelm enjoyed a strong quarter, lifting like for like sales by almost 3%, as it continues its expansion.

The chain saw like for like sales rise by 2.9% in the quarter to 28 December, compared with a drop of 5.3% in the previous quarter. Combined, they produced a half year fall of 0.9%.

Total sales rose by 7.3% in the quarter, producing a half year rise of 4.8% to £356.3m.

Five stores were opened in the period, along with one relocation, and a further four openings are planned in the next six months, bringing numbers to 135.

'Dunelm traded robustly during this key period with our trusted every day low price positioning retaining a strong appeal for customers. Our home delivery proposition has become much stronger as a result of our new fulfilment centre, and we are beginning to see the benefits from our increased advertising investment to drive brand awareness,' sys Nick Wharton, Dunelm chief executive.

'These investments have been funded through continued gross margin expansion and with continuing profitable growth from new stores, the board anticipates that profit before tax for the first half of the year will be approximately £61.5m. With a strengthening customer proposition, increasing brand awareness, a significant new store growth opportunity and an exciting multi-channel agenda in place, the board remains confident in the long term growth prospects for the business.'