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Shares plunge in UK homewares retailer Dunelm after profit warning

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(Reuters) – British furniture and kitchen equipment retailer Dunelm Group <DNLM.L> said on Friday annual profit would be “moderately” below last year’s following a contraction in its comparable store sales for the latest quarter.

The bedding and kitchen equipment retailer said weaker footfall had dragged comparable-store sales in its fourth quarter down 4.7 percent so far.

A 43.7 percent rise in online sales propped up the group’s overall sales but they were still up just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter to date, Dunelm said in a surprise trading update.

Shares in the company sank 10 percent in response.

The warning from Dunelm adds to gloom in the UK home furnishings and improvement market as Britons cut back on non-essential spending amid rising inflation.

On Thursday, Kingfisher <KGF.L>, which trades as B&Q and Screwfix in Britain, said its quarterly sales were hit by winter snow storms and weak UK consumer demand.

(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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