September 13, 2012 / 7:01 AM / 5 years ago

New store openings boost Dunelm profit

Sept 7 (Reuters) - British home furnishings retailer Dunelm Group Plc reported a 15 percent rise in full-year profit, helped by new store openings during the year and strong trading in the last quarter.

The company said it benefitted from the severe weather that hit the United Kingdom earlier this year.

Dunelm, which sells items such as bedding, curtains, kitchenware and lighting, said like-for-like sales increased 3.1 percent.

Revenue growth was driven by its store development program, which added 14 new superstores during the year.

Dunelm also proposed a final dividend of 10 pence per share as against 8 pence last year. It said it would also return excess capital worth 32.5 pence per share, or a total of 65.8 million pounds, to shareholders.

July-June pretax profit rose to 96.2 million pounds from 83.6 million pounds a year ago. Revenue rose 12.1 percent to 603.7 million pounds.

Shares in the company, which proposed a final dividend of 10 pence per share as against 8 pence last year, closed at 625 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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