PC World and Currys beat retail doom and gloom

Dixons Retail reports strong Christmas sales

Dixons Retail, owner of PC World and Currys, has today reported strong sales for the 12 weeks up to January 5th, including the Christmas period.

Like-for-like sales were up seven per cent, with UK and Ireland doing one better on eight per cent (based on stores open for the full financial year).

European online retailer Pixmania, which is also part of Dixons Retail, did not fare so well and the Group reports it is restructuring that business.

Group gross margins were down 0.5 per cent, primarily driven by product mix – boss Sebastian James admitted that huge tablet sales did contribute to lower margins.

The group full year underlying profit before tax is expected to be in line with market expectations of £75 million to £85 million.

Sebastian James, Chief Executive, said in a statement: "Our key multi-channel businesses delivered an encouragingly strong result during the Christmas period, particularly in the UK & Ireland and in Northern Europe. Customers continue to respond to our excellent range of products, compelling offers, seamless approach to multi-channel and improving service levels, and we continue to benefit from capacity exiting these markets. In Italy and Greece I was pleased to see our businesses trading ahead of weak local markets and continuing to manage profitability robustly. Tablet sales were phenomenal across our markets, which was good to see but which impacted overall headline margins somewhat. White goods were also strong, particularly in the UK.

"The single-channel operation PIXmania was disappointing, but we are making good progress on our
restructuring plans which are designed to put the business on a better financial footing.

"In the year ahead, while we will manage our cost base cautiously, we see many opportunities to improve the
overall performance of our Group through further developments in our service offer for customers, sharing
best practice, controlling costs and focusing on multi-channel growth.”

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