Dunelm has reported falling profits despite a jump in total sales, as the homeware specialist battled strong comparatives and inflationary pressures.

Wilkinson, Nick

Nick Wilkinson said customers ‘will remember how businesses behaved when times were tough’

In the 26 weeks to December 31, 2022, the homewares retailer posted a 16.6% year-on-year decline in profit to £117.4m, as post-pandemic demand decreased and inflation soared.

Sales grew 5% for the period, with total sales 43% higher than pre-pandemic in the first half of financial year 2020, driven by an increased range on Dunelm.com with 10,000 newly launched SKUs.

Active customers grew by 5.7% in this period and three new stores opened including one relocation.

Dunelm invested £17m in digitalisation, capability and capacity to support the company’s future growth.

The retailer’s expectations for its financial year 2023 profit before tax is unchanged but it said the customer outlook “remains unpredictable”.

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “We are all learning to live in a new, complex and rapidly evolving economic reality. Recognising this, our focus has been on ensuring that we continue to offer outstanding value to our savvy customers through a proposition that is committed to quality, at the right price, across an expanding range of relevant products. We believe that this is why we have continued to grow our sales, customer numbers and market share. 

“In this environment, agility, creativity and innovation are more important than ever and we have endeavoured to make every pound count, both for ourselves and for our customers, helping to mitigate the impact of inflation. 

“While we do this, it is important that we also maintain our long-term thinking, invest for sustainable growth and continue to ensure we are in a position to seize the significant opportunities ahead of us. 

“Much like during the pandemic, our customers, colleagues and the communities we operate in will remember how businesses behaved when times were tough, and we are confident that our approach of offering outstanding value and choice for all will enable us to, once again, emerge from this challenging period stronger than ever.”