- Homewares retailer Dunelm said it expected profit to be 'modestly ahead' of the top of the current range of market expectations.

Analysts' estimates for fiscal 2021 pre-tax profit is in the range of £120 million-to-£125 million.

The update was provided alongside third-quarter results showing sales had increased on strong digital sales as the company prepares to reopen most of its stores on 12 April.

For the 13-week period ended 27 March 2021, sales rose 10% to £236.6 million year-on-year, with digital sales up 28%.

Gross margin in the quarter increased by 30 basis points, mainly due to the 'reduced scale of our winter Sale as a result of store closures,' the company said.

Looking ahead, the company expects that gross margin in the fourth quarter will be ahead of the same period last year given that the prior year period was disrupted by the store closures in the first national lockdown.

'Our 13 stores in Scotland opened this week on 5th April and we anticipate that the 156 stores in England and Wales will re-open on 12th April,' it added.

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