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UK's Dunelm sets special dividend as online sales surge

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·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A view shows a Dunelm store in St Albans
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(Reuters) - Dunelm Group declared a special dividend on Wednesday and said it expects fiscal 2022 profit to be modestly above analysts' forecasts, as the British home furnishing retailer recorded rapid growth in its online sales.

The company has been benefiting from a surge in demand for its products such as curtains, bedding and other decor items, with people redoing their homes during the pandemic lockdowns.

Shares of Dunelm were up 7% on the London Stock Exchange, as of 0706 GMT, outperforming a 0.6% fall in the wider mid-cap index.

"Whilst the macro-outlook remains uncertain and we are seeing some industry-wide issues such as ongoing supply chain disruption and inflationary pressures from raw materials, freight costs and driver shortages, we feel well-placed to continue managing these challenges," Chief Executive Officer Nick Wilkinson said.

Digital sales, which more than doubled year-on-year, contributed 46% of total revenue for the year ended June 26, compared with 27% last year, Dunelm said.

Profit before tax for fiscal 2021 jumped 45% to 157.8 million pounds ($217.23 million), while sales climbed 26% to 1.34 billion pounds.

Analysts on average expect fiscal 2022 pretax profit to be between 153 million and 175 million pounds, according to Dunelm.

The company, which did not pay dividends in 2020, set a special dividend of 65 pence per share in addition to the full-year dividend of 35 pence for fiscal 2021.

($1 = 0.7264 pounds)

(Reporting by Chris Peters in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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