REFILE-Hot summer hurts Dunelm comparable-store sales

Wed Oct 2, 2013 4:25am EDT

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Homewares retailer Dunelm Group Plc reported a 5 percent fall in first-quarter like-for-like sales as fewer people visited its stores during one of Britain's hottest summers.

The company, which sells bedding, curtains, furniture and home utility items, said there was a significant decline in like-for-like sales in the first four weeks from June 30.

"As previously indicated, the hot weather made it a difficult start to the quarter for Dunelm with trading in the early weeks significantly affected by lower footfall," Chief Executive Nick Wharton said in a statement.

Total sales rose 1.7 percent to 154.3 million pounds ($250.02 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 28. Gross margin rose about 70 basis points from a year earlier.

Dunelm's shares closed at 926 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday. They have risen about 36 percent so far this year.