Value homewares retailer Dunelm’s slowdown in like-for-like growth met analysts’ expectations as it came up against tough comparables and suffered from a weaker sales period after Easter.
In the 42 weeks to April 24 like-for-likes climbed 10%, but growth slowed to 1.6% in the most recent 16-week period. In the nine weeks since its latest update, the retailer benefited from a “strong” Easter promotion, which helped like-for-likes climb 3%. In the 42-week period revenue rocketed 19.9% to £405.7m, but total sales growth slowed to 10.9% in the 16-week period.
“Looking ahead, prior year comparatives become significantly more demanding,” said the retailer.
Chief executive Will Adderley said: “We are satisfied with our overall performance so far this half, although trade has slowed somewhat after a good Easter. I am particularly pleased about the way customers continue to react to our new and refitted stores. This underlines the level of growth still available to us from new space as well as from upgrading our existing estate.”
Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George said the figures were “broadly in line with expectation”.
Singer Capital Markets analyst Matthew McEachran said trading in the nine-week period “remained robust”. The retailer’s expansion potential is a “key differentiator between Dunelm and many of its retail peers”, he added.
The 102-store retailer opened 10 superstores in the period. It hopes to grow its store numbers to 150 to 200.