Value homewares retailer Dunelm’s like-for-likes dipped 1.3% in its third quarter.

Total sales rose by 9.4% to £139m however as the retailer’s new stores grew the top line in the 13 weeks to April 2.

The retailer said despite the dip it gained market share on a like-for-like basis.

Gross margin increased by around 150 basis points year-on-year as it passed on cost price increases to customers and tightly managed margins throughout its January Sale.

The homewares specialist said that gross margin gain was unlikely to continue as cost prices and inflation are likely to rise further.

In its full year to date like-for-likes are down 1.3% but growth in new space has contributed to overall sales rising 8.7% to £414.7m.

Dunelm chief executive Nick Wharton said: ”Against strong prior year comparatives and difficult trading conditions, it is pleasing to see the continued growth of our business.

“Although we expect the consumer environment to remain very challenging, we are confident of delivering further growth thanks to the strength of our proposition, the launch of new and refitted stores and our multi-channel developments.”

Dunelm has committed to 10 new stores with one opening in its fourth quarter and the remainder opening in its next financial year.