Dunelm has recorded a rise in its third-quarter sales as the retailer was spurred by an uplift in sales across its stores and online.

The homewares retailer recorded a 6.1% rise in group revenue year on year to £284.5m in the 13 weeks to March 30, bolstered by like-for-like store sales growth of 9.8%.

The retailer’s online sales increased 32.1% during the period.

Dunelm’s gross margin rose 90 basis points, which the retailer said was “driven by the positive impact of closing the dilutive Worldstores businesses and an increase in the core business margin of approximately 40bps, driven by improved sourcing.”

The retailer’s store footprint of 169 store was unchanged during the period.

Dunelm said its phased roll out of a new digital operating system in stores is on track but that it plans to “proceed carefully, mindful that we must minimise disruption to the strong growth trend we are seeing on our existing online platform.”

The retailer said this investment, alongside increasing marketing costs and anticipated higher than average bonus payouts to store staff as a result of the business’ strong sales performance “will result in the second half operating cost to sales ratio being slightly higher than the same period last year.”

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “We are delighted that customers continue to respond well to our improving homewares offer as we help them create a home they love. The strong growth in the third quarter reflects our ongoing focus on attracting more customers to the brand and giving them more reasons to shop with us through great product and service. Our performance was also buoyed by a positive homewares market.

“Our multichannel proposition is improving all the time and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we continue to invest in and develop our digital capabilities.”