Expanded Dunelm hikes its dividend

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Retailer Dunelm increased its interim dividend today after its ten new superstores helped profits jump 14.5 per cent in the second half of last year.

Although like-for-like sales were up just 2.2 per cent, the group said it had outperformed the wider market for homewares and was committed to opening a further six stores in the coming months.

In the six months to 29 December, revenues were up 13.4 per cent to £340.1 million and operating profit hit £59.3m, up from £51.8m in the same period a year before.

The interim dividend increased by 12.5 per cent to 4.5p per share.

Chief executive Nick Wharton said: “With a specialist proposition which continues to appeal to a broad spread of customers, Dunelm has continued to outperform the overall homewares market.

“We have made good strategic progress during the period, particularly supported by our work to improve customer service, the continued expansion of our store portfolio across the UK and the progress made in our on-line offering.

“The final quarter of our financial year presents some challenging like for like sales comparatives, but with a significant new store growth opportunity and an exciting multi-channel agenda in place, the board remains confident in the overall growth prospects for the business.”