Shares in Dunelm Group were down on the FTSE 250 in afternoon trading after the home furnishings company reported a rise in pre-tax profits in the full year ended 3 July 2010.

Group sales were up 18.2 per cent in the period to £492.8 million, while pre-tax profits increased 46 per cent to £76.8 million.

Net cash at the end of the year fell from £24 million last year to £15.4 million at the end of this year.

The group said it was recommending a final dividend of 5.0 pence per share, a 33 per cent rise from the previous year.

In the last year Dunelm said that it had seen space growth of 14 per cent thanks to the opening of ten new superstores. In addition the group said it had refitted nine major stores in the last year and had the potential to open another 150-200 superstores in Britain.

Will Adderley, Chief Executive of Dunelm, said, "These excellent results confirm the strength of Dunelm's business model and I am delighted to see the efforts of everyone within the Dunelm team bear fruit in this way.

"We remain as committed as ever to pursuing further profitable growth and the pipeline of new store openings for the year ahead is very positive. I am excited by the ways in which our offer keeps developing and the strength of our like for like sales growth over the last financial year demonstrates that our customers are responding very positively to our offer.

"Whilst we are clearly operating in challenging economic conditions, and we expect to see continuing pressure on consumer spending, performance in the early weeks of our new financial year has been pleasing.

"By continuing to invest prudently in important areas of our infrastructure, we will be able to capitalise on the firm foundations already in place and continue to grow the business."

By 14:40 shares in Dunelm were down 2.14 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 387.50 pence per share.