Homeware retailer Dunelm has reported an 11.8% increase in revenues for the 13-week period ended 26 December 2020, despite having the majority of its stores closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.\r\n\r\nDunelm reported revenues of \u00a3360.4m during the period, which the retailer said reflected the fact that despite restrictions consumer demand for homewares \u201cremained buoyant\u201d.\r\n\r\nIt added that when its total retail system, including stores, was fully open, it performed \u201csignificantly ahead\u201d of the market. It revealed its online home delivery business has \u201cmore than doubled\u201d since the same period last year and it continues to enhance its operational capabilities.\r\n\r\nOnline sales accounted for 40% of total sales in the period.\r\n\r\nAs such, Dunelm said it now expects profit before tax (PBT) for the first half of the financial year to be approximately \u00a3112m, up from \u00a383.6min H1 FY20, which includes the repayment of \u00a314.5m JRS monies that were claimed in Q4 FY20.\r\n\r\nNick Wilkinson, Dunelm CEO, said: "Our strong performance continued into the second quarter, whilst we adapted to the various restrictions and resulting store closures across our estate. I am immensely grateful for the engagement and resilience of the Dunelm team who, along with our suppliers, have demonstrated their outstanding commitment to our core value of being 'Stronger Together'.\r\n\r\n"We enter 2021 with further restrictions and our primary focus remains the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers across the business.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: "Beyond this near term uncertainty, we've never felt more confident about the future. Our scalable proposition combines an in-store and digital offer which, with agile technology, we will continue to develop at pace.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs our homes play an increasingly important role for all of us, we are well placed to build even closer relationships with our customers and extend our market leadership."\r\n\r\nThe firm also announced the appointment of Arja Taaveniku as a non-executive director. Taaveniku will join the board on 15 February 2021 and will be a member of the Audit and Risk, Remuneration and Nominations committees.\r\n\r\nShe is an experienced business leader, having spent over 30 years in leadership positions with a number of international retail organisations. She was with Ikea Group between 1989 and 2012, including seven years as a global business director.