Dunelm set to confirm pandemic-related sales boost

Dunelm is set to confirm that sales surged by more than a quarter over the past year despite store closures, as locked-down customers spruced up their homes.

The homeware and soft furnishing retailer has been a significant beneficiary of lockdown trends, with more people seeking to redecorate their homes after being cooped up in the properties for the past 18 months.

However, shares in the company have lost steam in the past 12 months, dropping by 15 per cent as shareholders became accustomed to the group's strong trading growth.

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In its latest update to shareholders, the company said it expected that it would post 26 per cent sales growth for the year to June.

The chain has been a major beneficiary of increased spending by homeowners during lockdown. Picture: contributed.

Investors will be keen to hear how sales momentum has continued in the latest two months when the retailer reports its latest official trading figures on Wednesday.

Cost inflation for goods, as well as higher supply chain costs amid a nationwide shortage of HGV drivers, could impact on the firm's profit progress for the new financial year.

The group is expected to report a pre-tax profit of around £158 million for the past year, while analysts have forecast this will move marginally higher to £164m for the 2021-22 financial year, with a small decline in margins.

Dunelm has also previously highlighted that it will invest significantly to boost its logistics capacity, which could also impact the firm's profit guidance.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said: "More strategically, watch out for any further comments on supply chain disruption, cost or price increases and plans for investment in both digital capability and warehousing space.”

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