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Profits leap at Dunelm

DunelmAW19Dunelm is to pay shareholders an extra £64.6m in dividends after a jump in profits.

The chain says it will pay a special dividend on top of the £41.4m of final dividends. Shareholders will receive £121.2m for the year to 29 June.

Pre-tax profits rose by 35% to £125.9m as sales rose 4.8% to £1.1bn.

Like for like sales rose by 10.7%, with in-store sales 7.7% higher and online up 35.1%. Like for like sales were 12.1% and 37% higher respectively in the fourth quarter.

‘We improved the customer offer in our stores. Our product selection and sourcing has been focused on offering more style and better value to customers and we reinvigorated our special buy product programme, both in store and online, with more frequently changing offers, helping to provide greater inspiration and newness to our customers. We have also extended our furniture and seasonal ranges to increase choice,’ says Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm ceo.

‘The growth we have enjoyed this year has been delivered by having an effective plan to attract more customers to the brand, to increase shopping frequency by one visit a year, and to encourage customers to put one more item in their basket. These are medium term goals and based on the success of adding more active customers to the brand after just one year, we have increased our goal here to add 2 million more. This simple formula will drive significant growth, both in stores and online.

‘We will continue to improve the quality, style and value of our product range across all our core categories to reinforce our specialist position. We see significant scope for continuous improvement across all price bands and taste types. We are rebalancing the proportion of lines at opening “good” price points,for example, in our dinnerware and glassware ranges. We are also targeting a material increase in our online-only ranges with plans underway to add a net 6,000 products to our online-only ranges in FY20, many of which will be own label products. Some of these online-only products will be displayed in store and will be available to order for home delivery. Our furniture product offer is also set to strengthen as we grow own-brand options and extend colour choice on some of our best-selling products, for example printed fabrics for our occasional chairs and painted versions of our living room cabinetry collections. Promotional product and special buy programmes are set up to continue to introduce unique products with limited runs, bringing newness and great value for our customers. These initiatives rely on a strong network of committed suppliers and we will continue to focus on developing our relationships with both our existing and new suppliers.’