Dunelm has said it expects to “outperform” analyst expectations this financial year, as the group prepares to reopen its stores again on 12 April.
The statement, which was published in its Q3 trading update, revealed that its FY21 profit-before-tax is estimated to be between £120m-£125m.
This is a figure the homeware store also predicts to be “modestly ahead of” – if there are no further lockdown restrictions this year.
It comes as Dunelm revealed that in the 13 weeks to 27 March, total sales were down 16.8% to £236.6m.
According to the group, the “underperformance” across its 174 store estate was due to ongoing lockdown restrictions which were in place for much of the quarter.
Despite this, the retailer’s digital proposition, operating through home delivery and Click and Collect services, covered over 83% of prior year sales.
During the quarter, Dunelm saw total digital sales increase by 70% compared to the previous year.
Nick Wilkinson, chief executive officer at Dunelm, described the growth of the store’s digital channels as “encouraging”.
He said: “This resilient performance is testament to the commitment and dedication of our teams, who continue to adapt and innovate the Dunelm customer proposition. We are now looking forward to re-opening, with colleagues ready to welcome back customers through our doors.
“We have worked hard to rebuild inventory levels and our stores are well stocked across our extensive product range. The entire Dunelm team is excited to be able to offer our full proposition once again.”
He added: “With all stores soon to be fully open, combined with our ever improving digital offering, we look forward to helping our customers to create a little more joy in their homes and gardens this summer.”