Dunelm blames up­heaval for sec­ond year of fall­ing prof­its

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Grace Ham­mond BUSI­NESS REPORTER @york­shire­post

Re­tailer Dunelm has blamed man­age­ment up­heaval, a hit from a re­cent ac­qui­si­tion and dif­fi­cult trad­ing con­di­tions for its sec­ond year in a row of fall­ing prof­its.

The home fur­nish­ing group posted a 6.7 per cent fall in un­der­ly­ing pre-tax prof­its to £102m for the year to June 30.

Its fig­ures were knocked by an £8.4m hit from the World­stores takeover, which it com­pleted in Novem­ber 2016.

Chair­man Andy Har­ri­son ad­mit­ted the group had let “some of our ba­sic re­tail dis­ci­plines” slip due to man­age­ment changes and the “dis­trac­tion” of its World­stores ac­qui­si­tion.

Like-for-like sales rose 4.2 per cent, with stores see­ing growth of 1 per cent and on­line up 37.9 per cent.

Mr Har­ri­son said: “The year un­der re­view was com­pli­cated by a com­bi­na­tion of man­age­ment changes, the in­te­gra­tion of World­stores and a frag­ile eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment.

“How­ever, the ap­point­ment of our new chief ex­ec­u­tive, Nick Wilkin­son, in Fe­bru­ary brought co­he­sion and im­pe­tus to our strate­gic think­ing and as a board we are pleased with the im­me­di­ate progress he has achieved.”

On a re­ported ba­sis, pre-tax prof­its rose 0.8 per cent to £93.1m.

The group has seen shares come un­der pres­sure af­ter a se­ries of profit warn­ings since spring, with fall­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence and chal­leng­ing trad­ing adding to its woes.

It also en­dured a shake-up at the top, with Mr Har­ri­son forced to step in last year af­ter for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive John Browett stepped down at the end of Au­gust for “per­sonal rea­sons” af­ter a brief stint in charge.

Re­cently ap­pointed boss Mr Wilkin­son, who started in Fe­bru­ary, said the group was act­ing to shore up prof­its and boost sales with a fur­ther push on­line, in­clud­ing a new IT sys­tem for Dunelm. com.

TOUGH CON­DI­TIONS:Dunelm had let ‘some of its ba­sic re­tail dis­ci­plines’ slip.

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