Dunelm pre-tax profit fell by 13.3% to £109m in the full-year ended 27 June 2020, while total sales were down by 3.9% in the period, reflecting the impact of Covid-19.
Before the crisis hit, however, total sales increased by 6.8% in the eight months to February, supported by an 8.8% increase in rolling 12-month unique active customer numbers.
In its latest results, the retailer reported that online sales soared by 105.6% in the fourth quarter as more customers turned to home delivery.
In addition, digital sales accounted for 31% of total sales for the first two months of FY21, which saw an online sales growth of 130% compared to the prior year.
Recent trading has also remained strong, with total year-on-year sales up by 59% in July and 24% in August, partly as a result of pent up demand, as well as the timing of its Summer Sale.
The group noted it was difficult to provide meaningful guidance on its future outlook given the uncertainty in the wider economy and the potential impact of future lockdowns, however.
In light of this “highly uncertain” outlook, its board confirmed it is not recommending a final dividend for the full-year, in a bid to retain maximum liquidity ahead of winter peak trading.
It does, however, anticipate that it will declare an interim dividend in FY21, assuming there is no further material impact from Covid-19.
CEO Nick Wilkinson said: “We made good progress before the onset of Covid-19, building our digital capabilities, extending our product choice and value, and broadening and deepening our customer base.
“These unprecedented times have confirmed the strength of the Dunelm business model, with our integrated online and out-of-town stores proposition, broad product range, long-term supplier relationships, strong cash generation and operational grip.”
He added: “Growth in the first two months of the new financial year has been significantly ahead of our expectations, reflecting both pent up demand following the store closure period and a resilient homewares market.
“Whilst the year to date performance has been materially ahead of our initial expectations, it is very difficult to provide any meaningful guidance on the future outlook given the uncertainty in the wider economy and the potential impact of further regional or national lockdowns.”
He added that the group “remains confident”, and is well positioned to continue to grow its market share.