In its preliminary results for the FY ended 1st July 2023, Dunelm has reported ongoing sales growth of +6% (a record £1.64b), with further (40bps) market share gains in the combined homewares and furniture markets (excluding kitchen and bathroom furniture), standing at 7.2%.
Gross margin slipped from 51.2% to 50.1%, in line with expectations, while Dunelm says a PBT of £193m (£209m in FY22) reflects "tight control of margin amidst inflation in operating costs" and an "ongoing commitment to investment for the future". Free cash flow stood at £160m.
The number of active customers shopping with the retailer grew by +2.8%, alongside improved customer retention.
Three new stores were opened, including one relocation, and Dunelm adds that its is "continuing to see strong payback, underpinning confidence to accelerate openings over the next two years." Dunelm invested more than £20m in digitalising its end-to-end operations.
Progress was made on Dunelm's Pathway to Zero commitments, with reductions in Scope 1 carbon intensity and plastic packaging use, both ahead of targets, and increasing use of sustainable materials. Community engagement included circular solutions, such as take-back services, a threefold increase in the Delivering Joy gift campaign for local causes, and over £800,000 raised for charities.
Looking ahead, Dunelm says it is pleased with trading so far in the new financial year, and has "never been more confident in our plans to seize opportunities in the short, medium and long term", its value proposition resonating well, and freight costs easing.
CEO Nick Wilkinson comments: “In a period of extensive economic uncertainty, we have maintained our focus on enhancing our customer proposition, expanding our offer whilst staying fully committed to value and making every pound count. This has clearly resonated well with our customers, enabling us to continue growing both sales and market share.
“As we manage the ongoing challenges, it is crucial that we do not lose sight of our longer-term ambitions. We are committed to raising the bar on value and joy for our customers and continuing to invest where we see good returns, so that we can seize the various opportunities ahead.
“We are excited about our future growth opportunity and more confident than ever that our commitment to value and tireless focus on improving the experience for our home-loving customers will leave us well placed to deliver sustainable growth in the future.”