Dunelm has hailed an increase in sales and market share during its golden quarter, despite margin pressures.
The homewares business said like-for-like sales climbed 3.4% during the 13 weeks to December 30, 2017, the second quarter of its financial year.
Total sales swelled 13.6% to £297.5m over the same period.
Dunelm’s online growth outstripped its stores division, with ecommerce sales made through Dunelm.com surging 30.5% to £26.2m.
In comparison, like-for-likes in its bricks-and-mortar locations increased 1.1% to £228.8m during the 13 weeks.
Despite lauding the sales increases, Dunelm, which named Nick Wilkinson as its new chief executive last month, said its gross margin for the wider half-year period was 180bps lower year on year.
It blamed the erosion on the “continued mix effect” of lower-margin sales made through Worldstores – the etailer it acquired in November 2016 – and “planned higher participation” in end-of-season and seasonal product lines as it continues to focus on newness within its ranges.
Dunelm insisted that, excluding those two factors, margins were “in line” with the previous year.
The retailer’s chairman Andy Harrison said Dunelm was “well on the way to becoming a multichannel retailer” as it continues to integrate the Worldstores business.
Harrison added: “Overall, we remain on track, with good sales growth and market share gains, offset by margin mix.
“We are well positioned to deliver good full-year profit growth, after a small reduction in the first half, largely due to the consolidation of Worldstores losses.”