Increased market share although trading was slightly softer than expected due to a weaker market and some short term supply chain disruption
Acquisition of Worldstores enhances our leading position in homewares and enables acceleration of online and furniture growth
Ongoing store portfolio expansion, with five new stores opening in the half and a further five forecast for the remainder of the year
Good progress with strategic priorities and investment programme continues to strengthen the business for the future
Strong balance sheet supports growth plans in tough markets, with continued cash generation providing ongoing returns for shareholders
Interim dividend increased by 8.3% to 6.5p per share (FY16: 6.0p per share)
John Browett, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"We are in a transitional year for Dunelm and it has been a particularly busy first half - whilst we are operating in a challenging retail environment, especially in homewares, we remain focused on investing in and developing our business for the future. We are still in the midst of this exciting journey, and whilst trading was slightly softer than we would have liked due to a weaker market, we continue to increase our share and are confident that we will emerge as an even stronger market leader.
"We remain committed to our long term plans for the business, with our three-part growth strategy at the centre of everything we do. We have opened five new stores in the period and have more openings and refits planned in the second half. Our home delivery channel continues to perform well and our acquisition of Worldstores will accelerate our online capabilities and growth potential.
"We have significant opportunities to improve performance through various initiatives and will continue to invest. Dunelm's business model remains one that is hard to replicate, and we continue to generate significant levels of cash for shareholders, allowing a further increase in the dividend."