Homewares retail chain Dunelm was one of the high street's big winners last year, boosting pre-tax profits by 19.4 per cent to £84.9 million for the six months to December 28.

Defying the current retail gloom, Dunelm said it expected full-year profits to beat analysts' expectations.

Revenues rose 6% during the period to £585m.

Dunelm attributed its upbeat performance to its decision not to take part in Black Friday or any other pre-Christmas promotions, as well as cutting costs.

A new website rolled out in October also helped, as did adding tablets to allow customers to order in store.

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: "The third quarter has started well, with a successful winter sale across the total retail system. As a result, we expect full-year profit before tax to be slightly ahead of the top of the latest range of analyst expectations."

Dunelm's focus is on "affordability". Mr Wilkinson said: "We're not trying to persuade our customers they're on a path to luxury."

There have been fears that the coronavirus outbreak, officially named Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation, could slow down production in China, where factories are closing or cutting back production. About 20% of Dunelm's supply is direct with China account for a significant proportion of that.

But Mr Wilkinson said: "We're monitoring it every day but, because of the nature of homewares, we don't expect significant disruption."

Online trading platform Plus500 saw profits plunge due to a crackdown on high-risk betting although bosses said the recent economic volatility has helped in recent months.

The company, which offers trading across a range of simple and complex products, said profits for the year to December 31 hit $189.3 million (£146 million), down from $503 million (£388m) a year ago.

Chief executive Asaf Elimelech insisted the second half of the year improved, with revenues in the latter period of the year up 40% versus the first half.

Underlying pre-tax profits in the second half were also up 93% compared with the first and net profit was also up 94%.