January 7, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Dunelm sees FY pretax profit beating analyst estimates

(Adds CEO quote, FY view and background)

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Homeware retailer Dunelm Group Plc said it expects higher pretax profit for the first half of the year and forecast full-year pretax profit above the top of the range of analysts’ estimates if the industry continues to grow at its current pace.

However, the company which operates 171 stores with more than 30,000 products, said it remains “cautious” about the outlook due to ongoing uncertainty faced by consumers and businesses in the UK.

“We remain cautious on the outlook for the second half given the ongoing uncertainty in the UK economy. However, in the medium term, we see significant opportunity to grow,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Wilkinson said in a statement.

Analysts expect full-year pretax profit to range between 108 million pounds and 112 million pounds, according to a company provided estimate.

Dunelm shares were up about 10 percent at 635 pence in early trading, the best performer on the UK midcap index.

Dunelm expects pretax profit to be about 70 million pounds ($89.19 million) for the first half ending June 29, despite booking a 3.8 million pound charge linked to the Fogarty brand.

For the first half of 2018, Dunelm reported pretax profit of 60 million pounds before exceptional costs.

Higher online demand and a focus on its core brands helped Dunelm post a 5.7 percent rise in life-for-like store revenue in the second quarter ended Dec. 29, 2018.

Like many of its brick-and-mortar peers, Dunelm has been expanding its online business as British shoppers look for bargains and purchase goods online.

The FTSE-250 company has reined in costs as it rides out the tough retail environment, and closed websites like Worldstores.co.uk and Kiddicare.com to concentrate on its core website Dunelm.com. ($1 = 0.7849 pounds) (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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