Dunelm welcomes wet weather as its profits surge 15 per cent

Marion Dakers
HOMEWARES retailer Dunelm impressed yesterday with a 15.1 per cent jump in annual pre-tax profit to £96.2m, which it credited to gains in market share coupled with a wet summer.

Revenues were up 12.1 per cent at £603.7m in the year to 30 June, including an £8m “weather benefit” in the final quarter. Stripping out new store openings, like-for-like revenues rose 3.1 per cent. Family-run Dunelm said weeks of rain had driven customers to splurge on indoor home improvements. This contrasts with B&Q owner Kingfisher and Home Retail-owned Homebase, which this week complained that the weather kept customers away.

“Without doubt Dunelm is outperforming the homewares market and it is gaining traction with customers keen to make their hard earned cash go that bit further in these straightened times,” Oriel Securities analyst Eithne O’Leary said in a note.

Chief executive Nick Wharton said its multi-channel offering and store openings should help Dunelm weather the uncertain outlook.

The firm’s FTSE 250-listed shares closed up 5.4 per cent at 659p.