Both Currys and Dunelm have stressed they are still facing a “tough market backdrop” as they publish their latest results. However, both retailers – while remaining cautious – have celebrated strong sales at the end of 2023.
The technology retailer has reported sales were strong in mobile, but offset by weaker trends in TV and computing in the 10 weeks ending 06 January 2024. In the UK, its like-for-like sales fell 3% year on year. However, Currys has described its profits as “robust’ thanks to stable gross margins and continued cost savings. It has forecast full-year profit of between £105mn – £115mn.
“We’ve had a successful Peak trading period, for customers who are more satisfied than ever, and for profits and cashflow. Our markets may be no easier, but we now expect full-year profits to be above consensus expectations,” said Alex Baldock, group chief executive of Currys.
“In the UK&I, we’ve kept up our encouraging momentum, in particular selling more of the Services that boost margins and build customers for life. In all markets, we’ve taken big strides in customer satisfaction, through the hard work and expertise of our more engaged colleagues.
“We’re in a healthy financial position, and our strategy is delivering a consistently improving customer proposition. As consumer confidence improves, we’ll be well placed to build on these strong foundations, to benefit shareholders as well as colleagues and customers.”
The homewares retailer has reported total sales increasing by 4.5% to £872mn, driven by volume, for the 26-week period ended 30 December 2023.
Dunelm saw total sales increasing by 1.0% and the digital sales mix was up 2ppts to 37%. It was particularly pleased with sales in the cook and dine category, which benefitted from improved ranges. Christmas products also proved popular.
Nick Wilkinson, chief executive officer, Dunelm, commented: “The breadth of our range and outstanding value of our proposition continues to be well received by customers, resulting in a strong sales performance for the first half despite a tough market backdrop.
“Consumers remain under pressure and are actively seeking true value at all price points. Our customer offer and positioning as the ‘Home of Homes’ resonates particularly well in this environment, and we are confident we have continued to gain market share. At the same time, our strong operational grip continues to help us navigate the difficult environment and manage our margins.
“Supporting our communities remains at the heart of Dunelm and I would like to thank all our colleagues and customers for making our recent Delivering Joy campaign our biggest ever, donating an incredible 125,000 gifts to local good causes during the Christmas period.”
Additionally, Dunelm opened three new stores during the second quarter, taking the total to 183, and remains on-track to achieve it full year store opening plans.
Wilkinson added: “Looking ahead, we remain excited about the compelling opportunity for growth for our business. We have continued to execute at pace on our strategic plans, opening four new stores over the first half of the year, whilst continuing to expand our ranges and improve our digital offer.”
Our editor carefully curates a daily newsletter filled with up-to-date news, analysis and research, click here to subscribe to the FREE newsletter sent straight to your inbox and why not follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest updates on our research and analysis.