Value homewares retailer Dunelm has reported pre-tax profit is up 6.8% to £52.5m in its full year results, helped by a strong sales recovery in the second half.

For the 53 weeks ending July 4, sales were up 6.3% to £417.1m, but fell 0.5% on a like for like basis. Gross margin was up 120 basis points to 45.8%.

In the second half of the financial year in the 26 weeks to June 27, Dunelm reported like for like sales were up 5%.

Chief executive Will Adderley said: “In a tough market we continued to deliver strong performance and we have continued to grow our market share. The strong like for like sales performance in the latter weeks of the financial year has continued through the rest of the summer and we are very pleased with the start to our new financial year.”

Current trade remains strong. In the 10 weeks to September 12, like for like sales were up 16.1% and total sales were up 26.5%.

During the year the retailer opened six new superstores, and three further shops have opened since the year end. It is contractually committed to nine more units. It also completed six refits in the year.

Adderley said: “We are confident that our ‘Simply Value For Money’ proposition will continue to appeal to customers in the current economic climate. Our product ranges are suitable for all budgets and tastes. Our business is not significantly reliant on big-ticket purchases – our average basket remains below £30.”

He added that the weak property market gives the retailer opportunities to roll out to more locations.

However, he cautioned: “We recognise that it will be very challenging to maintain our recent trading performance as like for like sales comparatives start to strengthen, and economic factors potentially subdue consumer spending. Nonetheless, the business is in excellent health, we are confident of continuing to grow our market share and we remain excited about our growth prospects in the medium term.”