Homewares retailer Dunelm pulled its final dividend after reporting a fall in annual profit as sales were hurt by shuttered stores during the government-imposed lockdown. The company, however, said it expected to declare an interim dividend in its new fiscal year amid a strong start. 'The board currently anticipates, in the absence of any further material impact from Covid-19, that we will declare an interim dividend in February 2021,' the company said. For the 52 weeks to 27 June 2020, pre-tax profit fell 13.3% to £109.31m on-year as revenue slipped 3.9% to £1.06bn. The reduction in profit reflected the impact of Covid-19 and the store closure period, the company said. Online (home delivery) sales grew 105.6% in the fourth quarter. The company said it had seen strong trading since its year-end, with total year on year sales growth of 59% in July and 24% in August, partly as a result of 'pent up demand and the timing of our summer sale and reflecting a resilient homewares market.' For the first two months of its new fiscal year, store footfall had been positive and digital sales were 31% of total sales, with online (home delivery) sales growing of 130% compared to the prior year, it added. In a separate statement, Dunelm announced that William Reeve, independent non-executive director, had been appointed as senior independent director.
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