Dunelm hit by material costs

British homewares retailer Dunelm said rising raw material prices meant it was unlikely to be able to continue improving its profitability at the rate of recent years. The group, which runs 111 mostly out-of-town stores selling items such as kitchenware, lighting, wall art and rugs, said it was so far coping well with cost pressures and a tough consumer environment. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to 2 April, its fiscal third-quarter, in line with the decline reported for the 39 weeks of the financial year so far. “Whilst, to date, our buying scale and supply chain structure have provided some protection, cost price pressures are likely to continue over the coming months,” Dunelm said.