Homewares retailer Dunelm Group reported revenues up 8.8% to £299.9m in the half-year to end-December (2010: £275.7m). Like-for-like sales were up 1.1%.
Gross margin was up 10 basis points to 49.2% (Prior year: 49.1%).
There was operating profit growth of 7.1% at £51.8m (Prior year: £48.4m).
Profit before taxation was up by 7.8% to £52.2m (Prior year: £48.5m).
Earnings per share (fully diluted) were up 8.8% to 18.6p (Prior year: 17.1p).
Cash flows from operating activities before interest and tax were up 15.1% to £73.1m (Prior year: £63.5m).
The interim dividend is increased by 14% to 4p per share (Prior year: 3.5p).
The group had net cash of £49.9m at period end (Prior year: £34.3m).
11 new superstores were opened in the period (including one relocation) and 4 further sites are committed for launch this financial year (including one relocation. Nick Wharton, CEO, said: "Dunelm has achieved robust trading results in a very demanding retail environment, and has continued to gain market share on a like for like basis. We have also made significant progress on our longer term development plan, not only delivering a very ambitious store opening programme over the last quarter, but also making significant improvements to our on-line offer which have been well received by customers. I would like to thank all Dunelm colleagues for their hard work and commitment in the half year.
"Whilst we remain cautious about the impact of the UK consumer environment on our trading in the near term, we will continue to focus on the disciplined execution of our strategy and will maintain tight operational management. With eight further store openings already committed, good momentum in multi-channel and with our "Simply Value for Money" proposition resonating with a wide range of customers, we remain confident in the future growth prospects for the business."
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