LONDON, April 10 British homewares retailer
Dunelm Group reported a strong rise in underlying
quarterly revenue, but cautioned that sales growth would be
harder to achieve in the rest of its financial year.
Dunelm on Wednesday said like-for-like sales, which remove
the impact of new stores, grew by 5.2 percent in the 13 weeks to
March 30, helped in part by a longer winter sale and an earlier
Easter than in 2012.
"We now annualise our exceptionally strong comparative
performance in the final quarter of last financial year.
Accordingly, we anticipate that sales growth in like-for-like
stores will become much harder to achieve in the remainder of
the current financial year," said Chief Executive Nick Wharton.
The company, which sells items such as bedding, curtains,
kitchenware and lighting at mostly out-of-town locations, has
been a rare bright spot in what has been a difficult time for UK
Gross margin for the quarter is estimated to have continued
its positive trend with an improvement of around 20 basis points
compared to 2012, the company said.
Total revenue for the third quarter grew by 15.4 percent,
benefiting from three store openings in the period with two more
in the pipeline, while the gross margin improved by around 20
basis points, the company said.
This will take the number of store openings for the full
financial year to 143, including 126 superstores, compared with
the company's target of "full national coverage" estimated at
The family-run business said it was on track to create a
significantly larger distribution centre for online sales in the
summer of 2013.
Dunelm's shares closed at 839.5 pence on the London Stock
Exchange on Tuesday. They have risen about 74 percent over the