Homewares retailer Dunelm has reported sales up 10.6 per cent to £197.4 million in its interim results, but warned trading in the second half will prove tougher.

For the 26 weeks to December 29, the retailer’s like-for-like sales rose 4.9 per cent, while pre-tax profit was up 24.4 per cent to£27.2 million.

Dunelm chief executive Will Adderley said: “Two factors remain central to this success: our proposition of value for money, offering the widest range of homewares in the UK, and our low-cost business model- allowing us to deliver an operating margin of 14 per cent.”

During the period, the retailer opened stores in Shoreham, Aberdeen, Peterborough, Eastbourne and Dumfries. At the end of last year, the retailer had 86 stores – of which 73 are out-of-town superstores – and has since opened in Leeds and Bournemouth. Sittingbourne will follow this year.

Adderley added: “We have continued to grow in the second half of our financial year, with sales for the eight weeks to February 23 up 11.2 per cent, and up 0.9 per cent like-for-like.

“We have recently seen weaker consumer demand and we anticipate that trading in our second half will prove tougher than in the first. That said, we are confident that our robust business model will stand us in good stead as it has done in previous periods of market weakness.”