January 16, 2018 / 7:45 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-UK homewares retailer Dunelm comparable sales rise on online strength

(Adds details on online sales, background)

Jan 16 (Reuters) - British homewares retailer Dunelm Group Plc said on Tuesday its comparable sales rose 3.4 percent in the second quarter, helped by strong online sales.

Like-for-like online sales grew 30.5 percent in the second quarter to 26.2 million pounds and accounted for 10.3 percent of total comparable sales.

“Continuing rapid like-for-like online growth, of 36.8% in the first half, coupled with passing the first anniversary of the Worldstores acquisition, has helped our online sales grow to 16 percent of total sales in the first half,” Dunelm Chairman Andy Harrison said.

Dunelm, which agreed to buy Worldstores, Kiddicare and Achica brands in November 2016 for 8.5 million pounds, has been focusing on growing its online offerings to attract new customers.

The company, however, added it experienced a sales mix hit on margins in the first-half from the Worldstores acquisition and more seasonal and end of season products.

The company said revenue rose 13.6 percent to 297.5 million pounds ($410.43 million) in its second quarter ended Dec. 30.

Dunelm, which sells cushions, bedding and kitchen equipment, said it expects margin improvement in the second half.

$1 = 0.7248 pounds Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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