A rather cautious pre-close trading statement from DFS this morning, with progress made in the third quarter having been overshadowed by a downturn in recent weeks. A range of factors are cited here, from shipping disruption in getting made to order items to customers, to unseasonably hot weather keeping people away from stores, meaning that full year EBITDA is now expected to be down on the 2017 figure. The company also notes that the trading environment is expected to remain challenging for the next 12 months as consumer confidence struggles.
Keeping with retail, Dunelm has this morning posted a year-end trading update. The figures are certainly telling – overall like for like sales are almost unchanged, but that’s a result of a significant increase in use of the online channel, where sales are up by 42%. This offsets a 4.6% drop in transactions in physical stores. Customer reach also continues to grow, with the number of active website visitors up by 18%. The sector as a whole is struggling, but does this suggest Dunelm is finding a route to success?
ASOS rounds off the selection this morning with a trading statement for the four months to end of June being posted. Sales are up 22%, the company is growing its market share and margin improvement is being seen, too. The company’s share price sits around £13 below recent highs of £77.70, but this news seems likely to be welcomed by shareholders.