UK's Dunelm expects first-half profit to rise

Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:55am EST

Jan 8 (Reuters) - British homewares retailer Dunelm Group Plc said it expected to report a pretax profit in the range of 59 million to 60 million pounds (about $96 million) for the first half as it continued to grow sales despite weak demand and extreme weather conditions.

The company, which sells bedding, curtains, blinds, furniture, kitchenware and lighting at its Dunelm Mill stores, said revenue increased 13.4 percent for the 26 weeks to Dec. 29, compared with a year earlier.

Like-for-like sales grew 2.2 percent. The company said the sales growth in like-for-like stores will be "much harder to achieve" in the remainder of the financial year ending June 30.

Dunelm has been a rare bright spot in what has been a difficult year for UK retailers.

The retailer, which operates about 132 stores in the UK, reported 52.2 million pounds in pretax profit for the first half last year.

The company will report results for the first half on Feb. 12.

Dunelm's shares closed at 711 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Monday. They have risen about 66 percent over the past year.

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