Dunelm has raised its full-year guidance following a period of “exceptionally strong” growth post-lockdown, with Q4 sales soaring 101.7%, or 43.9% when compared to the same period in 2019.
In light of its strong sales performance since reopening in April, as well as reporting a higher than anticipated gross margin rate, it now expects that profit before tax for the full year will be £158m, ahead of analyst forecasts.
It comes as total sales for the year ended 26 June 2021 have reportedly risen by 26.3% against FY20, or 21.4% against FY19. The group said its results demonstrate the “increasing appeal” of its improving homewares proposition for both new and existing customers, as well as “pent-up” demand in the market.
The group noted that online sales have also remained strong throughout the quarter, rising 38% against the prior year.
In its latest trading update, the retailer said that since reopening stores in April, it has delivered sales growth materially ahead of the market and gained a “meaningful” share of the homewares market.
Looking ahead, it expects a “continued appetite” from customers, and in light of its latest results it will now look to increase investment levels in FY22 to “enable our growth ambitions, investing in our digital and data capabilities, store experience and commercial capabilities, as well as in our supply chain”.
It will provide a more “detailed” update of these investment plans in its final full-year results in September.
Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm’s CEO, said: “In what has been a challenging year for Dunelm, I would like to personally thank my colleagues for their extraordinary efforts and adaptability.
“Although our stores were closed for more than a third of the year, our strategy of investing in our digital capabilities allowed us to adapt to the changing environment and deliver strong growth.”
He added: “From what we have learned during the pandemic about our customers, colleagues, suppliers and our other stakeholders, we are more confident than ever about the opportunity to increase our market leadership and we will invest further in our proposition to support our growth ambitions.
“With many exciting developments in the pipeline to make us the first choice for home, and grow our customer base and frequency, there is a lot to look forward to.”