- Despite the impact of store closures in the second quarter, Dunelm Group has reported strong sales growth of 23% for the 26 weeks ended December 26, 2020.

Digital sales grew 111% during the period, while growth in total active customers was 4.4%. The latter was driven primarily by a boost in online customers.

Free cash flow of £98.0 million, with net cash at the end of the period of £140.9 million.

The company said it has a 'continued focus on the health and wellbeing of customers and colleagues; customer perceptions of safety in our stores and via our Click & Collect offer at 97%'.

Dunelm also announce an interim dividend of 12.0p, reflecting the strong first half performance and confidence in the medium-term outlook.

Nick Wilkinson, CEO at Dunelm, commented: 'Sales were particularly strong in the first quarter, before we had to navigate the various restrictions which impacted the remainder of the period. These restrictions have become more severe in the second half of our financial year, with all but one of our stores currently closed, although we continue to serve customers through our digital channels, which have significantly advanced during the last year.

'Beyond the near-term uncertainty, we have never been more confident about the future. Dunelm is a market leader with a challenger brand mentality, in a large and growing segment. We have a clear runway to grow active customers and their frequency across our total retail system and to realise our long-term ambitions.'

At 2:19pm: [LON:DNLM] Dunelm Group PLC share price was 0p at 1252p

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